Public governance

OECD Principles on Water Governance



The 12 OECD Water Governance Principles provide a framework for governments to put in place better water policies and they will be used to develop a broader OECD perspective on water management over the coming years.

The Principles were developed using a multi-stakeholder approach and were endorsed by a large number of public, private and non-profit organisations at the 7th World Water Forum in April 2015 in Korea through the Daegu Declaration.
Next steps will include identifying and scaling up best practices and developing water governance indicators to support the implementation of the Principles.

Setting standards for more effective, efficient and inclusive design and implementation of water policies:


1. Clearly allocate and distinguish roles and responsibilities for water policymaking, policy implementation, operational management and regulation, and foster co-ordination across these responsible authorities.

2. Manage water at the appropriate scale(s) within integrated basin governance systems to reflect local conditions, and foster co-ordination between the different scales.

3. Encourage policy coherence through effective cross-sectoral co-ordination, especially between policies for water and the environment, health, energy, agriculture, industry, spatial planning and land use.

4. Adapt the level of capacity of responsible authorities to the complexity of water challenges to be met, and to the set of competencies required to carry out their duties.

5. Produce, update, and share timely, consistent, comparable and policy-relevant water and water-related data and information, and use it to guide, assess and improve water policy.

6. Ensure that governance arrangements help mobilise water finance and allocate financial resources in an efficient, transparent and timely manner.

7. Ensure that sound water management regulatory frameworks are effectively implemented and enforced in pursuit of the public interest.

8. Promote the adoption and implementation of innovative water governance practices across responsible authorities, levels of government and relevant stakeholders.

9. Mainstream integrity and transparency practices across water policies, water institutions and water governance frameworks for greater accountability and trust in decision-making.

10. Promote stakeholder engagement for informed and outcome-oriented contributions to water policy design and implementation.

11. Encourage water governance frameworks that help manage trade-offs across water users, rural and urban areas, and generations.

12. Promote regular monitoring and evaluation of water policy and governance where appropriate, share the results with the public and make adjustments when needed.


Lists of signatories

Whether you represent an international, national, basin or local stakeholder, from public, private and non-profit sectors, you can endorse the OECD Principles on Water Governance, and join the Global Coalition for Good Water Governance. Kindly print, fill-in, sign and return the Endorsement Form.




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