Financing Water Supply, Sanitation and Flood Protection
Challenges in EU Member States and Policy Options
The OECD and the Directorate-General for Environment, the European Commission department
responsible for EU policy on the environment, joined forces to examine current and
future water-related financing challenges faced by EU member states. These include
investments needed to comply with EU regulation for water supply, wastewater collection
and treatment, and flood protection.
As part of the research, new data was produced on current levels of expenditure for
water supply, sanitation and flood protection, as well as on projected needs. It supported
a comparison across member states and substantiated tailored policy discussions in
selected countries and at European level. This report captures the rationale for the
research, the main quantitative outcomes and the policy issues and recommendations
that derived from this two-year co-operation. Lessons from Europe outlined in this
report can inspire similar research and policy discussions in other parts of the world.
Most EU member states will need to increase annual expenditures for water supply and sanitation by more than 25% in order to comply with the Drinking Water and Urban Wastewater Treatment Directives. And some countries are better placed than others to achieve that level of ambition. This projection derives from a 2-year co-operation between the OECD and the European Commission – DG Environment, in close collaboration with EU member states. It builds on new data on current levels of expenditure for water supply, sanitation and flood protection, as well as on projected needs.
What is the scale of the financing challenge in EU member states? What options are available to make the best use of existing financial resources, minimise future financing needs, or harness additional sources of finance?