Jun 5, 2015

OECD Country Ministers Back OECD's Principles on Water Governance

Ministers from OECD’s 34 member countries welcomed the OECD Principles on Water Governance, which set standards for more effective, efficient and inclusive design and implementation of water policies, and encouraged governments to put them into action.

The 12 Water Governance Principles provide a framework for governments to put in place better water policies and they will be used to develop a broader OECD perspective on water management over the coming years.

The Principles were developed using a multi-stakeholder approach and were endorsed by a large number of public, private and non-profit organisations at the 7th World Water Forum in April in Korea through the Daegu Declaration

Mar 28, 2015

#Irrigation evolution by irrigation category

In year 1900 about 48% of the global area equipped for irrigation was in dry areas, 33% in wet areas with predominantly rice irrigation and 19% in other wet areas. In contrast, only 19% of the global population lived in dry regions while 35% of the global population lived in wet areas with predominantly rice irrigation and 46% in other wet areas.

The pace of #irrigation evolution

The pace of irrigation evolution can clearly be divided into 2 eras, with the year 1950 being the breakpoint. Prior to 1950, the area equipped for irrigation gradually increased, whereas since the 1950s the area equipped for irrigation (AEI) increased extremely rapidly until the end of the century before somewhat levelling off within the first 5 years of the 21st century. The global AEI covered an area of 63 Mha in year 1900, nearly doubled to 111 Mha within the first 50 years of the 20th century and approximately tripled within the next 50 years to 306 Mha by year 2005.

Mar 27, 2015

Evolution of household water consumption in Chile

Water tariffs in Chile send the right signals to consumers. Average monthly household consumption has significantly fallen since 1998, from approximately 25 to 18.6 m3/household/month in 2013

Feb 20, 2015

Increasing Block Tariffs in the Water Sector: An Interpretation in Terms of Social Preferences

Meran, Georg and von Hirschhausen, Christian, Increasing Block Tariffs in the Water Sector: An Interpretation in Terms of Social Preferences (September 2014). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1434. Available at SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=2553084 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2553084


Many developing countries around the world apply progressive water tariffs, often structured in the form of discretely increasing block tariffs (IBTs). These tariffs have been criticized in the welfare economic literature due to their perceived inefficiency: many of the prices charged under IBTs do not correspond to marginal costs and thus violate the principle of allocative efficiency. In this paper we explore an alternative interpretation of the widespread use of IBTs, in terms of social preferences and fairness considerations. For this, we rely on an extension of the Fehr and Schmidt (1999) utility function, including inequality aversion, to which we add another parameter representing a preference for redistribution, which reflects a societal preference to correct for income difference perceived as unfair. In addition, the paper also includes household size in the analysis, finding that as poor households are on average larger (in per capita terms), a simple IBT tariff disregarding household size may not be "fair" at all. We conclude on a methodological note on the importance of addressing allocative and distributional issues simultaneously.

The Benefits Of Reusing Wastewater

Only 2.5 percent of the world's water is fresh water, and of that, only 1 percent is accessible as much is trapped in glaciers and snowfields. As a result, only a tiny fraction of the planet's water is available for everyday use. By one estimate, global fresh water demand will exceed supply by a staggering 40 percent in 2030 if current trends continue.

As corporate citizens, businesses must look at their impact on the environment and assess how their operations affect the communities they operate in and serve. By reducing their source water requirements, food and beverage companies of any size can do their part to reduce environmental impact, while reinforcing their corporate social responsibility. Many companies also realize substantial cost savings from water-related investments.