Biodiversity, water and natural resource management

Water Security for Better Lives



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.

Table of contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1. Why does water security matter?
Chapter 2. Applying a risk-based approach to water security
Chapter 3. Achieving water security targets through market-based instruments
Chapter 4. Policy coherence toward water security
Annex A. Glossary of terms
Annex B. Basic water facts
Annex C. Costs and distributional impacts of inaction

Multilingual summaries

German Italian Japanese Spanish


How to obtain this publication

Readers may access the full version of Water Security for Better Lives by choosing from the following options:

  • Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online edition via OECD iLibrary, our online library.
  • Non-subscribers can purchase the PDF e-book and/or paper copy via our Online Bookshop.
  • Order from your local distributor.

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