The Water Governance Programme advises governments at all levels on how to design and implement better water policies for better lives. It relies on the OECD Water Governance Initiative (WGI) and provides guidance through the OECD Principles on Water Governance.

Water in Africa

250 million Africans are expected to live in areas of high water stress by 2030. See the OECD work on water governance in African Cities on the road towards the 9th World Water Forum.

OECD Principles on Water Governance

Find the Principles



Indicator Framework



The Principles in practice



Statement of the OECD Secretary General

OECD Principles on Water Governance

The OECD Water Governance Initiative

Plenary meetings

Working groups



Capacity Development



Best Practices

Water Governance Projects

Water Governance in Africa

The OECD is spearheading a regional survey across 30 African cities on water risks and governance challenges and a Water Governance Policy Dialogue in Cape Town. The aim of this work is to raise awareness about water governance challenges and solutions in Africa, share best practices and assess water governance in African cities. The work comes as a result of the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, which was awarded to the OECD Secretary General in March 2018. Find the flyer here.

Water Governance in Asia

The OECD, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, produced evidence on water governance in the Asia and the Pacific region as part of the flagship Asian Water Development Outlook 2020 report to be launched at the end of 2020.  The dedicated chapter on water governance focuses on stakeholder engagement, integrity, trade-offs  across water users, financing and coordination across levels of government. It also contains policy recommendations drawn from international best practices and OECD experience.

Women in Water

Women and girls are the primary providers, managers, and users of water; however, women make up less than 17% of the water, sanitation, and hygiene labour force in developing economies and a fraction of the policymakers, regulators, management, and technical experts. The OECD is carrying out work on women in water decision-making. Find the flyer here.

Key publications

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