Country-specific policy dialogues on water
European Union Water Initiative (EUWI): Water Policy Reforms in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA).
In addition to analytical work, the OECD works with selected regions and countries to facilitate the reform of water policies. This confirms our aspiration to make reform happen.
Water is abundant in Brazil, but unevenly distributed across regions and users. Brazil faces at the same time severe droughts and an overabundance of water. For example, the 2015 drought in the São Paulo region occurred at the same time the Amazon region suffered severe flooding. Future economic, demographic, and climate trends make these issues more critical, as they affect rainfall variability, availability and demand, and increase the number of people and assets at risk.
The National Water Agency called on the OECD to i) clarify the institutional arrangements, and in particular the interplay between federal and state initiatives; and ii) review prevailing water allocation regimes, with a view to enhance water efficiency at least cost for the community. The OECD report Water Resources Governance in Brazil captures the main messages and sets an action plan. It was launched in December 2015 in Brasilia.
As a follow-up, the OECD and the National Water Agency (ANA) have engaged in a new phase of the policy dialogue in 2016. The objective of the project is to enhance the use of economic instruments (abstraction charges, pollution charges) for water policy and water management in Brazil, so that they contribute to water policy objectives and to broader policy priorities, including sustainable growth and adaptation to climate change.
In 2016, the OECD and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MoLIT) embarked on a policy dialogue aimed at advancing the water agenda under the responsibility of MoLIT, to ensure that water management contributes to a sustainable and creative economy in Korea.
The main objective of the policy dialogue is to enhance water efficiency in Korea, by promoting innovation while minimising the need for additional infrastructures. The policy dialogue focuses on three related areas: i) pricing instruments under the remit of MoLIT and K-water; ii) the promotion of innovation, in particular the smart water management; and iii) water allocation regimes. Active participation of other ministries and stakeholders is sought. A report will be launched at the Korean International water week, in September 2017.
Two-thirds of the Dutch territory, more than half of the population and two-thirds of the economic activity, are at risk of flood. As a result, water management has long been a national security issue for The Netherlands. Due to this unique situation, and centuries of concerted effort and dedicated ingenuity to “keep feet dry”, the Dutch have become a global leader in water management.
However, in the face of broader administrative reforms, fiscal tightening and increasing water challenges due to climate change, a number of key questions have emerged: how fit is the current system to meet future challenges? Are the current water governance and institutional arrangements effective and resilient? Is the Dutch society willing and able to pay the rising costs of water management? Can the Dutch “polder” approach effectively address issues related to the quality of the rivers and lakes, and cope with increasing risks of both floods and scarcity in the country.
To shed light on these questions, the OECD-Netherlands Policy Dialogue on Water Governance was set up. The final report Water Governance in the Netherlands: Fit for the Future? flags issues which could shape an agenda for future water policies in the Netherlands.
Mexico’s 2030 Water Agenda, designed by the National Water Commission of Mexico (CONAGUA), advocates for a new paradigm for more efficient management of water resources and services.
The OECD worked with Mexico to provide evidence-based assessment, analytical guidance, and customised policy recommendations in support of its water policy reforms. The process was based on OECD tools, methodologies and frameworks, and involved high-level peer reviewers and experts from Australia, Brazil, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
The process was useful to engage stakeholders, particularly as the Head of State and senior officers at the Mexican Water Commission changed during the course of the project.
The report Making Water Reform Happen in Mexico was handed over to the President of Mexico right after his election to serve as a reference for major policy reforms. It is also being used by donors to target their co-operation.
The OECD assists the EECCA countries in adopting a more integrated approach to water management, applying robust economic and financial analyses and improving multistakeholder participation. It also helps in identifying and removing some of the key obstacles to effective and efficient water management, while reflecting countries’ level of socio-economic development. This work is part of the EECCA component of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI), for which the OECD is a strategic partner, together with the UNECE. The EUWI EECCA is funded by the European Union with co-financing from Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland.
The EUWI EECCA combines a regional co-operation dimension, where countries in the region share experience on waterrelated challenges and successful reforms; and country specific multi-year National Policy Dialogues (NPDs), where the OECD and UNECE facilitate reforms in the field of integrated water resource management and/or water supply and sanitation. The OECD focuses on the economic aspects of water resources management (policy coherence, managing water for growth and making the best use of economic instruments for water management), and on the financial sustainability of water supply and sanitation services (strategic and mid-term financial planning and financial support mechanisms to the sector). The UNECE focuses on the co-operation related to the trans-boundary waters.
OECD Water Policy Dialogues in EECCA