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Energy affairs minister Csaba Lantos held consultations with representatives of the Hungarian water management association MAVÍZ on Monday, discussing the challenges affecting the sector and possible solutions, the ministry said in a statement. In February, the ministry of energy affairs set up the secretariat for water public utilities, which is tasked with the regulation and supervision of the sector as well as ensuring cooperation with key stakeholders, it said. Hungary’s relevant national strategy is aimed at developing a modern and sensibly-sized, energy-efficient water utility network which enables resource-efficient and sustainable operations serving the interests of the Hungarian public, the statement said. An integration process started this August enabling local councils to transfer their water utility assets to the state on a voluntary basis. This can make operations more sustainable, while so-far neglected developments can be carried out in order to reduce losses from the network. In the case of local councils that opt out of integration but need help to maintain their water services, the government assesses the possibility of contributing to their efforts and providing support on the basis of individual agreements, the statement said.