Water Management and Investment in the New Independent States

In the former Soviet Union, extensive networks were constructed to supply urban populations with clean, safe water. However, the networks were not well designed and this resulted in low quality water services and high operation and maintenance costs. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the condition of water infrastructure deteriorated more dramatically following sharp decreases in public budgets and the continued tradition of providing water services virtually free of charge. Without urgent action, the quality of services will continue to worsen and, in some of the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union, may even collapse, with serious consequences for human health and economic activity.

This volume analyses the causes underlying this dire situation and presents recommendations for addressing it which were adopted at a meeting of Economic/Finance and Environment Ministers held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in October 2000. The meeting was organized within the framework of the EAP Task Force, with its Secretariat at OECD, and involved key stakeholders from the governmental and non-governmental sectors. The EAP Task Force will implement a focused programme of work guided by the main recommendations agreed by participants.