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Social Aspects of Water Pricing

Social Aspects of Water Pricing

Social Aspects of Water Pricing


Ecologic experts on private sector participation and regulatory oversight in the water sector contribute to the OECD publications "Social Issues in the Provision and Pricing of Water Services" and "Improving Water Management: Recent OECD Experience". The final report and an excerpt of the publication are available for download.

Following estimations, 20% of the world population do not have access to high-quality water. An even greater share of the population lacks access to adequate sanitary facilities. Ecological systems, health issues and economic development do all compete for the use of the scarce resource. In the framework of this project, Ecologic especially analysed the social aspects of water provision. The results have been published in 2 publications.

In the OECD book 'Social Issues in the Provision and Pricing of Water Services' the interface between environmental and social elements of water pricing policies in OECD countries are explored. It focuses on the affordability of water services, as well as on the social measures aimed at resolving these affordability problems. The book also considers how environmental and social safeguards are addressed under different models of water utility ownership and management. For instance, it examines the potential role of the private sector in incorporating the social dimension into water policy decisions. Drawing on case study experience in Mexico, the book also explores the social problems associated with the transition from one level of water service provision to another. The chapter 'Governance and Private Sector Participation' contributed by Ecologic examines how social and environmental objectives are being met under different models of water services provision, involving different forms of 'private sector participation'. It provides case studies of different types of water service providers from France (Amiens), Germany (Hamburg), the United Kingdom (Welsh Water), the United States (Suburban Water Systems) and Mexico (Mexico City). The chapter also considers key criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of water service providers in meeting economic, social, and environmental objectives.

The 4th chapter [pdf, 183 KB, English] prepared for the OECD publication "Social Issues in the Provision and Pricing of Water Services" as well as the final report [pdf, 126 KB, English] can be downloaded here.

The publication 'Improving Water Management: Recent OECD Experience' has been prepared in view of the 3rd World Water Forum 2003 in Kyoto. It is a summary of various OECD experiences with the development and implementation of water pricing and water management policies in several OECD countries. The 5th chapter and the conclusions of the book draw from the input Ecologic made for the publication 'Social Issues in the Provision and Pricing of Water Services'. During the project the OECD organised as a workshop called 'Social Aspects of Water Pricing' in Paris on November 11th 2002. Ecologic participated in person of R. Andreas Kraemer, director of Ecologic.

More content from this project

Eduard Interwies
Martin Obermaier
Ana-Mari Hamada
Project ID
Water services, water supply, water provision, sewerage, pricing, tariffs, tarification, social issues, ability to pay, cost of water, regulation, privatization, privatisation, liberalization, liberalisation, Amiens, France, Hamburg, Germany, Welsh Water, UK, Suburban Water Systems, US, USA, Mexico City, Mexico Ciudad, OECD countries, consumer policy, consumer protection