Pricing and non-pricing measures for managing water demand in Europe

Description: The objective of this report is to provide an analysis and evaluation of the economic aspects of water management practices and water demand management in Europe, in particular focusing on eight Member States, namely Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Romania, Sweden, and Cyprus. The study mainly concentrates on the domestic water sector, although some insights on the agricultural sector are also provided. It address and analyse the price or non-price approaches and their relative performance towards managing water demand/use more efficiently, including the barriers and enabling factors for implementing price and non-price approaches. In addition the report analyses whether the incentive structures for water demand management are in place to encourage more efficient water use/water conservation – i.e. how they are implemented, how cost recovery is taking place, and where the revenue goes. Managing water demand via price approaches refers to incentivizing efficient water use through a wide range of instruments such as tariffs, charges or fees, taxes or subsidies. This study presents an overview of these instruments, and then it focuses mainly on water tariffs.

Scope of IG: The EEA would like to circulate the results from this study to the water community dealing in particular with pricing and non-pricing measures of water demand. The study was supported by an Advisory Group, whose members provided valuable feedback and input on project activities and helping the project team in gaining a clearer understanding of the tasks. The advisory group included member of relevant organisations of the European water sector and represented relevant stakeholder from the water sector. The EEA would like to thank the members of the Advisory Group for the support to this project.

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