Enhancing Water Use Efficiency in Korea

Policy Issues and Recommendations

image of Enhancing Water Use Efficiency in Korea

The report, building on a policy dialogue with a range of stakeholders in Korea, analyses how economic policy instruments under the responsibility of the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport can be adjusted to contribute to water policy objectives. It also investigates how Smart Water Management Korea, an initiative by K-water that combines information and communication technology with water technology, can be harnessed to better contribute to water management in the country. Finally, it identifies some of the limitations of prevalent water allocation regimes which need to be addressed to make the best use of available water resources.

Since 1965, the Korean Government has invested heavily in quantitative development strategies to meet water needs, and despite highly variable water availability, this has allowed for and facilitated rapid urbanisation and economic growth. However, several long-term trends are expected to affect the capacity of the current water management system to adequately respond to current and future water risks, such as rapid ageing of the population, fiscal consolidation and climate change. These call for a renewed emphasis on water use efficiency.



Economic instruments for water quantity management under the responsibility of MoLIT

This chapter reviews three economic instruments for water quantity management in Korea from a financial and economic perspective, which are under the responsibility of MoLIT. Specifically, it seeks to answer two questions: i) Do the instruments generate the revenues needed to finance the operation, maintenance and renewal of existing infrastructures to supply dam and river water? ii) Can they promote water use efficiency, stimulate private sector investment in water savings, or allocate water where it is most needed? The chapter reviews international experience with similar instruments and suggests options to transition towards economic instruments that actively contribute to water policy objectives.


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