The European Commission recently made recommendations for water pricing policies in EU member states and accession countries. Those recommendations emphasise the contribution of economic instruments in environmental policies to provide incentives for the sustainable use of water resources. The Commission argues that water and sewerage providers should base their pricing policies on an explicit assessment of costs and benefits of water use, the former relating not just to financial costs but also to environmental and resource costs. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the factors constraining implementation of the Commission’s proposals and considers how their implementation could be further facilitated.
- water pricing policies