Ten years of water sector reform in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia


Ten Years of Water Sector Reform in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

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The countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) inherited a well-developed network of water infrastructure from the Soviet period. However, since then, it has seriously deteriorated due to a lack of operation and maintenance, insufficient finance, weak institutions, as well as external factors, such as economic and demographic changes, and rapidly rising energy prices. As a result, people in the region have faced a steady decline in levels and quality of service, as well as significant threats to human health, ecosystems, and economic development.

This report evaluates how well EECCA countries have done in ensuring people’s access to adequate water supply and sanitation services since their Economic, Finance, and Environment Ministers adopted the Almaty Guiding Principles to support such efforts in 2000. Besides looking at trends in the technical and financial performance of the water sector, the report analyses the results of institutional reforms at different levels of governance, as well as financing arrangements. Analysis focuses mainly on urban areas, but some of the challenges in rural areas are also examined.

September 2011

This report draws policy recommendations to help countries stem the decline in the sector’s performance that has occurred over the last decade, despite opportunities provided by rapid economic growth in many EECCA countries in this period.

This report was officially launched on the first day of a Europe-wide Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan (Astana) on 21 September 2011.


Table of contents


Executive Summary

Setting the scene

Recent trends and current status

Institutional reforms

Financial sustainability

Policy recommendations

Annex: Key statistics by country

How to obtain this publication


Readers can access the full version of Policies for a Better Environment: Progress in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia 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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