CEPS Task Force

Which Economic Model for a Water-Efficient Europe


To achieve the objectives of the 2000 Water Framework Directive, it is generally recognized by the EU and member state governments as well as the broader stakeholder community that a more comprehensive policy response will be needed in general, with particular attention to water management.  Such a comprehensive approach is currently being discussed within the context of the ‘Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s Water’ that is currently being prepared by the European Commission to be ready by November 2012.  While the ‘Blueprint’ is an initiative in its own right, it is also closely related to the EU 2020 (economic growth) Strategy and, in particular, to the planned Resource Efficiency Roadmap and the EU Climate Policy. The Blueprint will be the water milestone on that Roadmap.

As part of its programme on 5 March 2012 (from 10:30-17H) CEPS will launch a new Task Force entitled  ‘Which economic model for a water-efficient Europe?” with a particular focus on the role of pricing of water resources. In close co-operation with DG Environment of the European Commission, the Task Force will analyse present practices in Europe and identify the key elements of a full cost pricing methodology, taking into account policy considerations, such as territorial economic disparities and social equity considerations.

The Task Force will include issues such as:
• Understanding the challenges for the sustainable management of European water resources
• Improve water use through financial and economic instruments
• Water use in agriculture and industry: Economic incentives for resource efficiency
• Investment and finance: water treatment and sanitation (infrastructure), water use, remediation, restoration, eco-services payments, desalination etc.
• Instruments for efficient water pricing: tariffs, taxes and transfers
The Chairman of the Task Force will be Richard Seeber, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Member of the EP ENVI Committee & President of the EP Water Group.
The Task Force will report in May ready for the political discussions on the Blueprint.

Chair: Richard Seeber, Member of the European Parliament, EPP, Member of the EP ENVI Committee & President of the EP Water Group

Christian Egenhofer, Senior Research Fellow, CEPS
Monica Alessi, Research Fellow and Programme Manager, CEPS

1st meeting: 5 March 2012 – Agenda
2nd meeting: 27 March 2012 – Agenda
3rd and final meeting: 23 April 2012 – Agenda

Task Force Report published on 27th November 2012 – available here.
Task Force Report launched in the European Parliament Brussels on 28 January 2013.

Here is the full Prospectus with a short description.

Presentations of the 1st meeting:

Relation to the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources, Lukasz Latala, DG Environment, Protection of Water Resources Unit, European Commission

Energy Industry Comment: Water use and economical incitaments, Niklas Dahlbäck, Vattenfall

Status of “Blueprint Discussion”, Peter Gammeltoft, DG Environment, European Commission

Water use in agriculture and industry: What experience with water efficiency and pricing?, Sarah Bogaert, ARCADIS Belgium

Understanding the role of economic instruments in water management, Xavier Leflaive, OECD Environment Directorate

Understanding European Water Lifecycle and Management Challenges: Towards the potential for (innovative) economic instruments for achieving water policy goals, Pedro Andrés Garzon, ACTeon

The UK Water Sector, David Pearson, Senior Analyst, Market Reform
Presentations of the 2nd meeting:

Water Productivity: How it works and how improve it?, Adriano Battilani, Senior Researcher, Canale Emiliano Romagnolo

Which economic model for a water efficient Europe? – Comments, Aldo Ravazzi Douvan, European Network of Environmental Authorities for the Cohesion Policy

Experiences and key messages from the assessment of the WFD on cost recovery – and beyond, Eduard Interwies, InterSus

6th World Water Forum – Global Change and Water Resources, Jean-luc Redaud, Académie de l’Eau

Efficient water distribution solutions, key to safeguarding Europe’s water, Timme Dossing, Partner, Cabinet DN

Cost-Recovery Assessments in River Basins: Evidence from the EPI-Water project, Pedro Andrés Garzon, ACTeon

Presentation of the 3rd meeting:

Water Efficiency at Toyota Motor Europe (TME), Salma Abdel Rahim, Specialist Environmental Affairs & Corporate Citizenship, Toyota and Steve Hope, General Manager Environmental Affairs & Corporate Citizenship, Toyota

Task Forces              Energy and Climate Homepage        

Christian Egenhofer

Associate Senior Research Fellow

Monica Alessi

Programme Manager

+32 2 229 39 10