Despite progress on many fronts, governments around the world are still confronted with the need to reform their existing water policies in order to meet current objectives and future challenges identified by the OECD Environment Outlook to 2050. Population growth, urbanisation, and changing lifestyles as a result of economic growth are key drivers of these challenges, while increasing spatial and temporal water variability resulting from climate change will exacerbate these pressures.
Building on these water challenges, this report examines three fundamental areas that need to be addressed whatever reform agendas are pursued by governments: financing of the water sector; the governance and institutional arrangements that are in place; and coherence between water policies and policies in place in other sectors of the economy. The report provides governments in both OECD and non-OECD countries with practical advice and policy tools to pursue urgent reform in their water sectors.
After framing the water reform challenge, the book examines the policy challenges surrounding the financing of water supply and sanitation and presents a policy toolkit that can underpin policy dialogues to stimulate much needed reform. The chapter also addresses the growing problem of financing the broader water resources management functions of government.
The next chapter highlights the key governance challenges confronting water policy reform, focusing on the issues arising from the multi-level governance structure that generally characterises water resources management.
The final chapter examines the coherence issues raised by the linkages between water, energy and agriculture and presents a number of steps that governments need to take to address the water coherence challenge.
OECD (2012). Meeting the water reform challenge. (OECD studies on water). Paris, France: OECD Publishing. 172 p.: 17 boxes, 25 fig., 16 tab. ISBN: 9789264169999. Available at: <doi: 10.1787/9789264170001-en> [Accessed 18 May 2012]
Watch a video on the global water challenge and OECD’s response.