Toolkit for Water Policies and Governance

Converging Towards the OECD Council Recommendation on Water

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The Toolkit for Water Policies and Governance compiles policies, governance arrangements and related tools that facilitate the design and implementation of water management practices in line with the OECD Council Recommendation on Water. It is designed to inspire and support countries which have either adhered to, are considering adhering to, or aim to converge towards the OECD standard.

The Recommendation was unanimously adopted by the OECD Council in December 2016. The adoption marked the outcome of a two-year consultation process with delegates from ministries active in the fields of agriculture, development assistance, environment, public governance, regional development, and regulatory policy, as well as with relevant stakeholders (the business sector, trade unions, environmental organisations) and the OECD Water Governance Initiative.

The Recommendation puts forward an international standard with high-level policy guidance on a range of topics relevant for the management of water resources and delivery of water services. The areas covered include managing water quantity, water risks and disasters, improving water quality, ensuring good water governance as well as sustainable finance, investment and pricing for water services.

The practices reported in the toolkit have been compiled by the OECD Secretariat, in close consultation with delegates from adhering countries. Regular updates will be made available.

English Also available in: French

Pricing instruments for water management and services

This chapter presents Adherents’ experience with pricing instruments for water management and services, in line with the OECD Recommendation on Water. The chapter explores how Adherents set abstractions charges that reflect water scarcity; water pollution charges to incentivise pollution prevention; as well as tariffs that cover operation, maintenance and renewal costs of service provision. It highlights examples of pricing instruments accounting for the redistributive consequences and priority water uses. It also explores efforts to phase out price-distorting policy measures and general subsidies. Finally, the chapter reports valuable efforts to reduce transaction costs when designing pricing instruments.

English Also available in: French

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