Water Security for Better Lives

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This publication examines the critical issues surrounding water security (water shortage, water excess, inadequate water quality, the resilience of freshwater systems), providing a rationale for a risk-based approach and the management of trade-offs between water and other (sectoral and environmental) policies.


The report sets out a three-step process to “know”, “target” and “manage” water risks: (1) appraising the risks, (2) judging the tolerability and acceptability of risks and weighing risk-risk trade-offs, and (3) calibrating appropriate responses.


The publication provides policy analysis and guidance on the use of market-based instruments and the complex links between water security and other policy objectives, such as food security, energy security, climate mitigation and biodiversity protection.



Achieving water security targets through market-based instruments

Once set, water security targets should be achieved at least possible economic cost (i.e. cost-effectiveness should be pursued). This chapter suggests how market-based instruments can be used to promote more effective water management. Using theory, examples and case studies, a description is given as to how economic approaches may be used, particularly in OECD countries, to manage water risks.


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