Implementing Water Economics in the EU Water Framework Directive

The EU Water Framework and Floods Directives have not only set the level of ambition for water resources management in Europe, but have also provided a model for other regions in the world. Effective implementation of the Directives requires that due consideration be given to their economic pillar, designed to support a cost-effective approach in member states and communities. Recent reviews indicate that there is considerable room to improve the integration of water economics within the framework of water resources management. This report captures the lessons learned from five thematic workshops co-convened by the OECD and the European Commission. It provides an overview of the challenges faced by EU member countries and opportunities to strengthen the economic approach of water resources management in Europe. Covering cost recovery, polluter pays principle, water scarcity, planning and financing, the lessons are relevant for regions and countries across the globe.

Published on March 21, 2023

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