Pricing Water Resources and Water and Sanitation Services

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In both OECD and non-OECD countries the water sector is facing the challenges of increased competition for water resources, deteriorating water quality, and the effects of climate change and poor management. In this context, how can countries ensure access to adequate, sustainable and affordable water and sanitation services for all?  

Pricing water-related services is an essential part of the answer. This report compiles reliable and comparable data on pricing water and on water supply and sanitation services across OECD countries. It sheds additional light on such policy issues as the choice of tariff structures for water services, cost recovery for water services and affordability.

English Also available in: French


Executive summary

This report updates two previous reviews of OECD countries’ experience with pricing for water-related services. It is based on the OECD 2007-08 Survey which was set up to address two sets of policy questions:

• What proportion of costs is recovered by revenues from tariffs? What alternative cost-sharing mechanisms may be appropriate for different water-related activities?

• Are average tariff levels affordable for all? And if not, are adequate tariff structures, including social tariffs, or other income-support mechanisms being adopted?

English Also available in: French

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