Environment in emerging and transition economies

The water challenge: OECD's response


The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction documents some of the consequences of having too much, too little, or too polluted water. Subsequent work has focused on managing water scarcity, water quality, and water-related disasters. It has identified governance and finance as essential enabling conditions. Some of the work focuses on water for agriculture or cities.

The OECD is endeavouring to capture policy recommendations that derive from its past and recent work on water in a single, consistent and action-oriented policy paper. This endeavour is expected to come to fruition at the end of 2016.

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Policy Perspectives - Water, growth and finance OECD-WWC-Netherlands Roundtable on Financing Water - Prospectus

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On 13 December 2016, the OECD Council adopted a Recommendation on Water

The OECD has been providing policy guidance on water to OECD members and non-OECD member countries since the early 1970s, covering a wide range of issues including water quantity and quality management, the management of water-related risks, governance, and pricing and financing water services and infrastructure. It covers water uses in agriculture, urban water management and related issues.

The Recommendation of the OECD Council on Water captures the main messages that derive from that work. It builds on a 2-year consultation process with OECD member countries, and stakeholders, in particular members of the OECD Water Governance Initiative. The Recommendation of the OECD Council on Water provides a unique source of policy guidance that help address the pressing issues that central and subnational authorities need to respond to.

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OECD work on water - Brochure

OECD work on water - Brochure

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  • Water, like air and food, is our life support. It covers about 70% of the surface of our planet. But only 2.5% of it is fresh water, the rest being ocean, with a small fraction of that being available as drinking water. As a fragile resource, water must be nurtured with investment, management and care. From oceans and vaste rivers to the spring in the garden, we must safeguard our water as a source of well-being, prosperity and progress... We must turn water into a flow of new opportunities for green, inclusive, sustainable growth, OECD Secretary-General.

  • Water can be the source of a brighter future, OECD Observer editorial by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General | April 2015

  • OECD Observer articles - Environment & resources: water

  • OECD Observer crosswords

water viDEOS




Global Water Governance by OECD Secretary-General

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