Water is essential for economic growth, human health, and the environment. Yet governments around the world face significant challenges in managing their water resources effectively. The problems are multiple and complex: billions of people are still without access to safe water and adequate sanitation; competition for water is increasing among the different uses and users; and major investment is required to maintain and improve water infrastructure in OECD and non-OECD countries. This OECD series on water provides policy analysis and guidance on the economic, financial and governance aspects of water resources management. These aspects generally lie at the heart of the water problem and hold the key to unlocking the policy puzzle.
This report evaluates how well EECCA countries have done in ensuring people’s access to adequate water supply and sanitation services since their Economic, Finance, and Environment Ministers adopted the Almaty Guiding Principles to support such efforts in 2000. Besides looking at trends in the technical and financial performance of the water sector, the report analyses the results of institutional reforms at different levels of governance, as well as financing arrangements. Analysis focuses mainly on urban areas, but some of the challenges in rural areas are also examined. The report draws policy recommendations to help countries stem the decline in the sector’s performance that has occurred over the last decade, despite opportunities provided by rapid economic growth in many EECCA countries in this period.