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OECD: investment needed for safe water supply and sanitation

The OECD published its long-awaited report on investment needs for the water sector this week. EurEau worked closely with the OECD and the European Commission, providing relevant data from our members for it.

The report’s goals were two-fold: to document investments Member States need to make in order to comply with (and remain compliant with) the DWD, UWWTD and Floods Directive; and to assess financing capacities and challenges.

From these analyses, countries can decide how to close the finance gap and the European Commission can assess the support it can provide to Member States to ensure compliance with these three key directives.

Across the 28 EU Member States, the annual average expenditure is €100billion, with variations of between €100-250 per capita on supply and sanitation services.

Tellingly, the report states that expenditures for water supply and sanitation need to increase significantly – citing expenditure of €289billion by 2030 - if countries want to comply with the Drinking Water and Urban Waste Water Treatment Directives and to enhance the efficiency of water supply systems.

This represents an additional spend of over 25% in all countries except Germany.

Financing this investment need is of course a challenge, and one EurEau has pushed for many years. The reality is however that our water infrastructure is ageing. There are substantial uncertainties as to the cost of asset renewal. We need water treatment plants and processes that will keep up with demands that must be addressed such as climate change, micropollutants and efficiency if we are to continue supplying consumers with safe, dependable and affordable services.

The full report is here.

Our briefing note on the 3T’s for financing the water sector is here while you can read more about cost recovery and water pricing in our briefing note.

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