27 Nov 2012

Which economic model for a water-efficient Europe?

Christian Egenhofer / Monica Alessi / Jonas Teusch / Jorge Núñez Ferrer

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This CEPS Task Force Report focuses on how to improve water efficiency in Europe, notably in public supply, households, agriculture, energy and manufacturing as well as across sectors. It presents a number of recommendations on how to make better use of economic policy instruments to sustainably manage the EU’s water resources.

Published in the run-up to the European Commission’s “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Waters”, the report contributes to the policy deliberations in two ways. First, by assessing the viability of economic policy instruments, it addresses a major shortcoming that has so far prevented the 2000 EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) from becoming fully effective in practice: the lack of appropriate, coherent and effective instruments in (some) member states. Second, as the Task Force report is the result of an interactive process involving a variety of stakeholders, it is able to point to the key differences in interpreting and applying WFD principles that have led to a lack of policy coherence across the EU and to offer some pragmatic advice on moving forward.

The report was drafted by four rapporteurs: Christian Egenhofer, CEPS Senior Research Fellow; Monica Alessi, CEPS Programme Manager & Research Fellow; Jonas Teusch, CEPS Researcher and Jorge Núñez Ferrer,CEPS Associate Research Fellow. It also features a Foreword by Richard Seeber, Member of the European Parliament and President of the EP Water Group. The Task Force was co-chaired by Sébastien Treyer, Director of Programmes, IDDRI, Paris and Frank Convery, Senior Fellow, UCD Earth Institute, University College Dublin.