Biodiversity, water and natural resource management

OECD publications on water

 

2016 Reforming Economic Instruments for Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan

This report presents recommendations on the reform of economic instruments for water resources management in Kyrgyzstan, specifically on tariffs for urban water supply and sanitation (WSS) and irrigation water, pollution charges, surface water abstraction charges for enterprises (consumptive and non-consumptive uses), specific land tax rates for the Issyk-Kul biosphere reserve, as well as taxes and customs duty on products contributing to water pollution. For each instrument, alternative reform options are identified and assessed, and preferred options put forward, with an action plan.

Reforming Economic Instruments for Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan
 

Financial Management of Flood Risk

Disasters present a broad range of human, social, financial, economic and environmental impacts, with potentially long-lasting, multi-generational effects. The financial management of these impacts is a key challenge for individuals and governments in developed and developing countries. The OECD has supported the development of strategies for the financial management of natural and man-made disaster risks, under the guidance of the OECD High-Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large-scale Catastrophes and the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee. This work has included the elaboration of an OECD Recommendation on Good Practices for Mitigating and Financing Catastrophic Risks and a draft Recommendation on Disaster Risk Financing Strategies.

Financial Management of Flood Risk
  The Ocean Economy in 2030

This report explores the growth prospects for the ocean economy, its capacity for future employment creation and innovation, and its role in addressing global challenges. Special attention is devoted to the emerging ocean-based industries in light of their high growth and innovation potential, and contribution to addressing challenges such as energy security, environment, climate change and food security. The report examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.

The Ocean Economy in 2030
 

Sustainable Business Models for Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Towns and Rural Settlements in Kazakhstan

This report assesses the Republic of Kazakhstan’s significant efforts to improve water supply and sanitation (WSS) services over the past 15 years, notably in terms of ambitious target-setting, implementation of a sound water tariff policy, and significant investment in the rehabilitation and development of relevant infrastructure. Generally speaking, the absence of updated data on WSS institutional development is a limiting factor for further policy and programme development in the field, including in Kazakhstan.

Sustainable Business Models for Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Towns and Rural Settlements in Kazakhstan
  Water Governance in Cities

Urban, demographic and climate trends are increasingly exposing cities to risks of having too little, too much and too polluted water. Facing these challenges requires robust public policies and sound governance frameworks to co-ordinate across multiple scales, authorities, and policy domains. Building on a survey of 48 cities in OECD countries and emerging economies, the report analyses key factors affecting urban water governance, discusses trends in allocating roles and responsibilities across levels of government, and assesses multi-level governance gaps in urban water management. It provides a framework for mitigating territorial and institutional fragmentation and raising the profile of water in the broader sustainable development agenda, focusing in particular on the contribution of metropolitan governance, rural-urban partnerships and stakeholder engagement.

Water Governance in Cities
 

Mitigating Drought and Floods in Agriculture

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events, notably of droughts and floods to which the agriculture sector is particularly exposed. While agricultural productivity growth and policy development have allowed to better cope with these risks and reduce overall impacts on the sector and commodity markets, there is substantial room to improve policy responses and co-ordinate across policy domains, including with respect to water rights and allocation, weather and hydrological information, innovation and education, and insurance and compensation schemes. Indeed, drought and flood risks are likely to become a major policy concern as increasing population will increase the demand for food, feed, fibre, and energy, not to mention the competition for water resources, and urbanisation will increase the demand for flood protection and mitigation, raising the issue of the allocation of flood risks across sectors and areas.

Mitigating Droughts and Floods in Agriculture
2015 Environment at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators

This report updates key environmental indicators and relevant socio-economic and sectoral indicators to track OECD country progress on major environmental issues and inform policy development and evaluation. This edition includes increased coverage use of freshwater resources, water pricing for public supply and wastewater treatment.

Environment at a Glance 2015
  Drying Wells, Rising Stakes: Towards Sustainable Agricultural Groundwater Use

As a natural reserve relatively resilient to climate variability, groundwater has provided large benefits to irrigated agriculture in semi-arid OECD countries. It has supported the development and expanded production of commodity crops in the US Midwest and Mexico and high value products in semi-arid areas of Mediterranean Europe or the Middle East. But intensive use beyond recharge capacity in certain regions has depleted resources and increasingly generates significant negative environmental externalities, including stream depletion, saline intrusion and land subsidence. The report studies the challenges of managing groundwater use in agriculture sustainably, acknowledging its increasing importance as a tool for agriculture’s adaptation to climate change.

Drying Wells, Rising Stakes
 


Water Resources Governance in Brazil

Water is abundant in Brazil, but unevenly distributed across regions and users. Remarkable progress to reform the sector has been achieved since the 1997 National Water Law, but economic, climate and urbanisation trends generate threats that may jeopardize national growth and development. The consequences are particularly acute in regions where tensions across water users already exist or are likely to grow. The report is the result of a policy dialogue with more than 100 stakeholders at different levels in Brazil. It assesses the performance of Brazil’s water governance and suggests policy recommendations for strengthening the co-ordination between federal and state water policies and for setting up more robust water allocation regimes that can better cope with future risks. The report concludes with an action plan, which suggests concrete milestones and champion institutions to implement those recommendations.


Water Resources Governance in Brazil


Water and Cities: Ensuring Sustainable Futures

This report focuses on the urban water management challenges facing cities across OECD countries, and explores both national and local policy responses with respect to water-risk exposure, the state of urban infrastructures and dynamics, and institutional and governance architectures. The analyses focus on four mutually dependent dimensions – finance, innovation, urban-rural co-operation and governance – and proposes a solutions-oriented typology based on urban characteristics. The report underlines that sustainable urban water management will depend on collaboration across different tiers of government working together with local initiatives and stakeholders.

Water and Cities
 

Water Resources Allocation: Sharing Risks and Opportunities

Water resources allocation determines who is able to use water resources, how, when and where. It directly affects the value (economic, ecological, socio-cultural) that individuals and society obtain from water resources. This report overviews how allocation works in a range of countries and how the performance of allocation arrangements can be improved to adjust to changing conditions.
Capturing information from 27 OECD countries and key partner economies, the report presents key findings from the OECD Survey of Water Resources Allocation and case studies of successful allocation reform. It provides practical policy guidance for water allocation in the form of a "health check", which can be used to assess the performance of current arrangements and manage the transition to improved regimes.

Water Resources Allocation
 

The Governance of Water Regulators

The establishment of dedicated regulatory bodies in charge of regulating water services, whilst being recent, is nevertheless a consistent trend among OECD and non-OECD countries. This report presents a picture as of September 2014 of the governance arrangements, operational modalities and use of regulatory tools across a sample of 34 established water regulators. It relies on the OECD Best Practice Principles for Regulatory Policy: The Governance of Regulators to structure the information collected through a survey exercise. It has been developed in close co-operation with the OECD Network of Economic Regulators (NER).

The Governance of Water Regulators

  Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance

This report assesses the current trends, drivers, obstacles, mechanisms, impacts, costs and benefits of stakeholder engagement in the water sector. It builds on empirical data collected through an extensive survey across 215 stakeholders, within and outside the water sector, and 69 case studies collected worldwide. It highlights the increasing importance of stakeholder engagement in the water sector as a principle of good governance and the need for better understanding of the pressing and emerging issues related to stakeholder engagement.
Stakeholder Engagement for Inclusive Water Governance
2014 Seine Basin, Île-de-France, 2014: Resilience to Major Floods

This study examines flood risk prevention of the Seine in the Ile-de-France region and highlights the impacts a major flood, like the one in 1910, could have on the well-being of citizens, city management and the economy. This study finds that a major flood of the Seine River and its tributaries could affect up to 5 million residents and cause up to 30 billion euros in direct damage. Growth, employment and public finances could also be affected. The metropolitan area of Paris is highly exposed to the risk of a major flood of the Seine River, similar to the great floods of 1910. A major flood could cause severe damage to the largest economic metropolis in continental Europe. Recent floods in Europe as well as Hurricane Sandy in New York City in 2012, have shown the potential for disruption, and the impacts to the economy and well-being in large urban areas.

Seine Basin, Île-de-France, 2014: Resilience to Major Floods

 

Water Governance in Tunisia

This report diagnoses the main governance and financing challenges to private sector participation in the water supply and wastewater sector of Tunisia, and provides ways forward to address these challenges. It been developed as part of a water policy dialogue conducted by the OECD jointly with the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med) in the context of the project labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) "Governance and Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector", with the support of the FEMIP Trust Fund of the European Investment Bank.

Water Governance in Tunisia
  Water Governance in Jordan

This report assesses the main governance and financing challenges to private sector participation (PSP) in the water supply and sanitation sector of Jordan, and provides ways forward to address them, based on international experience and OECD compendium of principles and good practices. Using the diagnostic analysis of the governance challenges to PSP in the Jordan water sector (Chapter 1), the report identifies ways forward to overcome bottlenecks focusing on three key pillars (Chapter 2): i) managing public-private partnership in a fiscally constrained environment through appropriate budget processes; ii) reducing the regulatory risks through supporting the development of a high-quality framework; and iii)managing and enhancing stakeholder engagement to improve accountability and buy-in. The report also includes an action plan with concrete measures to implement the recommendations proposed in the report.

Water Governance in Jordan

 

Climate Change, Water and Agriculture: Towards Resilient Systems

This report reviews the main linkages between climate change, water and agriculture as a means to identifying and discussing adaptation strategies for better use and conservation of water resources. It aims to provide guidance to decision makers on choosing an appropriate mix of policies and market approaches to address the interaction between agriculture and water systems under climate change.

Climate Change, Water and Agriculture
 

Water Governance in the Netherlands: Fit for the Future?

This report assesses the extent to which Dutch water governance is fit for future challenges and sketches an agenda for the reform of water policies in the Netherlands. It builds on a one-year policy dialogue with over 100 Dutch stakeholders, supported by robust analytical work and drawing on international best practice.

book cover

2013

Water Security for Better Lives

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.

Water Security for Better Life

 

Water and Climate Change Adaptation: Policies to Navigate Uncharted Waters

This publication provides guidance to policy makers to prioritise action and to improve the efficiency, timeliness and equity of adaptation decisions. It sets out a risk-based approach to achieve resilient water security in a changing climate. It also documents key trends and highlights best practice from the OECD Survey of Policies on Water and Climate Change Adaptation, which covers all 34 OECD countries and the European Commission. Finally the report examines options to improve the flexibility of water governance, policy and financing approaches. 

Water and Climate Change Adaptation
 

OECD Compendium of Agri-environmental Indicators

This compendium updates the data issued in Environmental Performance of Agriculture at a Glance and provides comprehensive data and analysis on the environmental performance of agriculture in OECD countries since 1990, covering soil, water, air and biodiversity and looking at recent policy developments in all 34 OECD countries.

 

OECD Compendium of Agri-environmental Indicators - Book Cover
  Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico

The report provides evidence-based assessment and policy recommendations in support of Mexico’s water reform. It analyses implementation bottlenecks and identifies good practices in four key areas considered as essential drivers for change in the water sector of Mexico: multi-level and river basin governance; economic efficiency and financial sustainability; and regulatory functions for water supply and sanitation.

 

Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico -book cover image
2012 Water Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Multi-level Approach

This report addresses multilevel governance challenges in water policy in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) and identifies good practices for co-ordinating water across ministries, between levels of government, and across local and regional actors. Based on the OECD Multilevel Governance Framework and a survey on water governance, the report i) maps the allocation of roles and responsibilities in 13 LAC countries’ water policy at central government and sub-national level; ii) identifies the main coordination “gaps” in terms of territorial and institutional fragmentation, funding mismatch, information asymmetry, accountability, objectives and capacity, and iii) provides a range of mechanisms to improve water governance at all levels and foster capacity-building.

 

Water Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean - Book cover image

 

A Framework for Financing Water Resources Management

This report provides a framework for policy discussions around financing water resources management that are taking place at local, basin, national, or transboundary levels. The report goes beyond the traditional focus on financing water supply and sanitation to examine the full range of water management tasks that governments have to fulfill; when appropriate, a distinction is made on distinctive water issues.

Book Cover
 

Meeting the Water Reform Challenge

Building on the water challenges identified by the OECD Environment Outlook to 2050, this report examines three fundamental areas that need to be addressed whatever reform agendas are pursued by governments: financing of the water sector; the governance and institutional arrangements that are in place; and coherence between water policies and policies in place in other sectors of the economy. The report provides governments with practical advice and policy tools to pursue urgent reform in their water sectors.

 

 

Water Quality and Agriculture: Meeting the Policy Challenge

This book examines linking policies, farm management and water quality. It looks at recent trends and prospects for water pollution from agriculture and the implications of climate change. It assesses the costs and benefits of agriculture's impact on water systems, and presents case studies of policy experiences from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the Baltic region, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union in general. Finally the report provides a set of recommendations for countries for meeting the challenge of improving agricultural water quality.

Water Quality and Agriculture book cover image
  Water Governance in OECD Countries : A Multilevel Approach  
  Meeting the Challenge of Financing Water and Sanitation Tools and Approaches  
  Greening Public Budgets in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia  
  Ten Years of Water Sector Reform in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia  
  Benefits of Investing in Water and Sanitation: an OECD Perspective  
 

Guidelines for Performance-based Contracts between Water Utilities and Municipalities: Lessons learnt from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

 
  Policies towards a Sustainable Use of Water in Spain  
     
2010 Pricing Water Resources and Water and Sanitation Services  
  Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Agriculture  
  Innovative Financing Mechanisms for the Water Sector  
     
2009 Managing Water for All  
  Managing Water for All – Summary for policymakers
 
  Alternative ways of Supplying Water: Emerging Options and their Policy Implications   
  Alternative ways of providing water: Emerging options and their policy implications (Advance Copy for 5th World Water Forum)
 
  Private Sector Participation in Water Infrastructure: OECD Checklist for Public Action
 
     
2006 Water and Agriculture: Sustainability, Markets and Policies