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.
Improving Economic Instruments for Water Resources Management in the Republic of Buryatia (Lake Baikal Basin) - A major challenge facing the Republic of Buryatia is how to balance the task of protecting Lake Baikal – a unique water object and ecological system included in the UNESCO list of World Natural Heritage Areas – with the need for dynamic and sustainable socio-economic development of the republic. This requires streamlining and improving water policy jointly with economic, administrative, information and other policy instruments. The recommendations in this report aim to help achieve this objective | November 2016
Water risk hotspots for agriculture: The case of the southwest United States - this report analyses trends in agriculture for the US Southwest region, one of the most water stressed and productive agricultural regions in the world expected to face further water shortages in the future due to climate change and continued growth. It examines projected water risks by mid-century without additional policy action, and discusses the expected implications for the agriculture sector, based on a review of existing data and available publications | September 2016
VIDEO - INVESTING IN WATER SECURITY FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
As economies and populations grow, and climate change intensifies, more assets, economic activities and populations will face water-related risks. Exposure to droughts, floods, and inadequate access to water supply and sanitation are costing us at least US$500 billion per year. Investment in water security can help safeguard growth and well-being in the face of increasing water risks. See how Philadelphia, Israel and Brazil are investing in water security for better lives.
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 and irrigation water, pollution charges, surface water abstraction charges and specific land tax rates for the Issyk-Kul biosphere reserve | August 2016
Financial Managemeent of Flood Risks, this report applies the lessons from the OECD’s analysis of disaster risk financing practices and the development of guidance to the specific case of floods | July 2016
The OECD continues work on water finance. The Roundtable on Water Finance, a joint initiative with the World Water Council and the Netherlands, ambitions to identify barriers to further investment in the water sector and propose ways forward. The Roundtable is a multi-year endeavour, which aims to deliver concrete outcomes at the World Water Forum 8 in March 2018 in Brasilia. Related publications include:
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.