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Facilitating the Reform of Economic Instruments for Water Management in Georgia

image of Facilitating the Reform of Economic Instruments for Water Management in Georgia

This study assesses the use of economic instruments for water resources management in Georgia and considers options for reform following the 2014 signature of an Association Agreement with the EU committing to alignment with the EU’s Water Framework Directive. This includes the systematic use of economic instruments, including water pricing, to recover the cost of water services provided to households, industry and farmers, among other measures.

Three main economic instruments are recommended in this study: 1) the introduction of a licensing regime and charges for both surface water and groundwater abstraction, 2) the restoration of a licencing and charging regime for all forms of water pollution, and 3) more rigorous enforcement of these measures, including more active monitoring and higher fines for offenders. Implementing these measures will be greatly facilitated by the enactment of the new Water Law now being examined by the government of Georgia.

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Water problems and management framework in Georgia

This chapter presents the context of Georgia’s commitments taken in the framework of the signed Association Agreement with the European Union in 2014. More specifically, the chapter analyses the set of EU Water Directive and some key provisions of the Water Framework Directive. It also considers the role of waterpricing policies to ensure adequate incentives for efficient water resources use, and thereby contribute to the environmental objectives. The chapter describes the current state of water problems and priorities in Georgia. It considers the issues like water quality which is an overriding concern, with widespread water pollution causing outbreaks of water-related diseases and harm to aquatic ecosystems, and water variability in the form of flooding and the occurrence of local and seasonal shortages. The chapter also discusses the need for water policy development in Georgia and the shortcomings of the current legal and institutional frameworks.

English

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