OECD work and the EU Water Initiative

Library: Water reports on policy reforms in the Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia region


This Library presents reports providing policy analysis on water policy reforms in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) including:




 Towards Water Security in Belarus-cover-border

Towards Water Security in Belarus: A Synthesis Report (2020)

This report presents the results of collaboration on improving water security in Belarus, between the beneficiary country, the OECD and its partners implementing the EU-funded European Union Water Initiative Plus project. It provides an overview of the composition and distribution of the country’s water resources, including the particular challenges facing different regions (oblasts), and lays out the policy responses that Belarus has taken and planned to progress its overarching policy objective of ensuring water security within the framework of the future national Water Strategy in the Context of Climate Change for the Period until 2030. The report also provides an assessment of potential opportunities to boost water security in Belarus by supporting the country’s ongoing water policy reform agenda.


Enhancing the Economic Regulatory System for Moldova's Water Supply and Sanitation (2019)

This report aims to support the development of a sound economic regulatory system for the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector in the Republic of Moldova (hereafter “Moldova”). The prevailing policy framework calls for drastic developments in WSS to modernise and optimise WSS systems and improve operational efficiency (non-revenue water, staff-output ratios etc.) – in line with domestic and international commitments (including the Association Agreement with the European Union, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the national WSS strategy). This report outlines ways and means for strengthening the capacity of the Moldovan government to provide sound regulation and that of WSS operators to deliver higher standards of service while ensuring the affordability of WSS services. Such a transition cannot happen overnight. It requires a sound economic regulatory system conducive to affordability, cost recovery and debt servicing, and a realistic performance improvement path for water utilities.
 Water Studies Cover_Shardara MPWI

Strengthening Shardara Multi-Purpose Water Infrastructure in Kazakhstan (2018)

More than 8 000 large multi-purpose water infrastructures (MPWIs) around the world contribute to economic development, as well as water, food and energy security, encompassing all human-made water systems including dams, dykes, reservoirs and associated irrigation canals and water supply networks. Focused on the specific case of the Shardara MPWI located in Low Syr-Darya Basin, South Kazakhstan and Kyzyl-Orda oblasts (provinces) of Kazakhstan, this report looks at the choice and design of MPWI investment strategies that ensure a high economic return on investments and potential bankability, based on application of a computer model and lessons learned from 15 international MPWI case studies.

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Facilitating the Reform of Economic Instruments for Water Management in Georgia (2018)

This study assesses the use of economic instruments for water resources management in Georgia and considers options for reform following the 2014 signature of an Association Agreement with the EU committing to alignment with the EU’s Water Framework Directive. This includes the systematic use of economic instruments, including water pricing, to recover the cost of water services provided to households, industry and farmers, among other measures.

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Improving Domestic Financial Support Mechanisms in Moldova's Water Sanitation Sector (2017)

The water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector in Moldova is not financially sustainable: tariffs do not typically cover operational costs and capital investments are heavily funded by external development partners. This report analyses several options for streamlining and strengthening domestic financial support mechanisms (DFSMs) in terms of both supply and demand, discusses different scenarios and recommends a number of actions to ensure effective DFSM implementation, notably: 1) sufficient investment for the implementation of targets and obligations set in the national strategies, the Association Agreement with the EU, as well as Moldova’s international commitments (water-related Sustainable Development Goals, and the “Water-to-all” commitment); 2) the financial sustainability of operators; and 3) the affordability of WSS services for end-users, especially low-income segments of the population.

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Reforming Sanitation in Armenia: Towards a National Strategy (2017)

This report assesses the state of Armenia’s sanitation services, which are in poor shape, and proposes ways forward for reforming the sector by: ensuring equitable access by all and identifying solutions that work for the poorest and most remote communities; generating economies of scale and scope, and reducing both investment and operational costs for the efficient delivery of sanitation services; and moving towards sustainable cost recovery for the sanitation sector, by identifying how much funding can be mobilised from within the sector and how much external transfers are required.

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Improving Economic Instruments for Water Resources Management in the Republic of Buryatia (Lake Baikal Basin) (2016)

A major challenge facing the Republic of Buryatia, subject of the Russian Federation, is how to balance the task of protecting Lake Baikal with the need for dynamic and sustainable socio-economic development of the republic. The recommendations in this report include the introduction of abstraction charges for irrigation water as a  natural resource; and improvement of economic instruments for managing risks of water-related hazards. Innovative instruments, such as introducing a charge (tax) on toxic agricultural chemicals to create incentives for the reduction of diffuse water pollution, are recommended for pilot testing.


Reforming Economic Instruments for Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan (2016)

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 (WSS) and irrigation water, pollution charges, surface water abstraction charges for enterprises (consumptive and non-consumptive uses), specific land tax rates for the Issyk-Kul biosphere reserve, as well as taxes and customs duty on products contributing to water pollution. 

KAZ Report cover_water series

Sustainable Business Models for Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Towns and Rural Settlements in Kazakhstan (2016)

This report assesses the Republic of Kazakhstan’s significant efforts to improve water supply and sanitation (WSS) services over the past 15 years, notably in terms of ambitious target-setting, implementation of a sound water tariff policy, and significant investment in the rehabilitation and development of relevant infrastructure. Generally speaking, the absence of updated data on WSS institutional development is a limiting factor for further policy and programme development in the field, including in Kazakhstan. The monitoring and evaluation system proposed in this report aims to help assess progress in the WSS sector and serve as a basis for any necessary corrective measures.


 EUWI+ Belarus SDG6 Highlights cover

Highlights of EUWI+ Assistance to Belarus in Implementing Water-Related SDGs: Nationalising Indicators to Monitor Progress in Implementing Sustainable Devevlopement Goal 6 (2021)

This document aims to share the progress made by Belarus with the wider EaP region noting that the integration of SDGs into national policy frameworks helps mobilise political support and allocate public funds required for the water sector.

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Multi-Purpose Water Infrastructure - Recommendations to maximise ecomomic benefits (2017) 

Multi-purpose water infrastructure encompasses all constructed water systems, including dams, dykes, reservoirs and associated irrigation canals and water supply networks, which may be used for more than one purpose for economic, social and environmental activities. This OECD policy perspective, Multi-Purpose Water Infrastructure : Recommendations to maximise economic benefits, presents insights for effectively managing MPWIs.

EUWI Brochure Cover - updated 2016

Water Policy Reforms in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia - Achievements of the European Union Water Initiative (2016)

The brochure highlights the main outcomes to which the EUWI contributed in the EECCA countries over the past 10 years.

EUWI Kura Basin Policy Highlights cover, 2016  Co-operative water management in the Kura River basin (2016)

The basin of the river Kura is shared by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. The river is 1,515 km long; it originates in Turkey, on the north slope of the Allahuekber Mountains, and discharges to the Caspian Sea. This review focuses on co-operative water management in Georgia and Azerbaijan, which are neighboring countries hosting a significant stretch of the Kura River.

EUWI Economic Instruments Policy Perspectives 2016 cover

Reforming economic instruments for water management in EECCA countries (2016)

This Policy Perspective summarises key policy messages and recommendations on the role of economic instruments in addressing challenges and achieving key water policy objectives including relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) countries.

working papers 


Developing a national water security indicators framework in Kazakhstan

This Environment Working Paper presents recent progress in Kazakhstan with regard to identifying water security priorities and establishing indicators to monitor and measure progress towards achieving water security. The paper considers remaining challenges for future work in this domain, including improving data collection and reporting, and integrating water security indicators into relevant policy documents, strategies and plans to secure the technical and political attention necessary to drive progress in this domain.



Managing multi-purpose water infrastructure

This paper explores the complexity in designing, financing, regulating and managing MPWI projects, with the objective to inform policy and decision-making. It attempts to identify key issues related to managing MPWI, lessons learned from international experience and possible solutions to the challenges. It examines several principles, approaches and instruments to enhance the sustainability of MPWI, drawing on international experience.

The Potential Benefits of Transboundary Cooperation in Georgia and Azerbaijan

This study was one of the first attempts to evaluate and quantify the benefits of transboundary co-operation between Georgia and Azerbaijan. A specific framework for inventorying these benefits, taking into account all the different dimensions of transboundary water management, was built and applied to the major transboundary water bodies.



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