Water services in OECD cities under growing pressure

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 15:35

A new OECD report reveals that population growth and climate change will begin to put a huge strain on city water utilities unless they improve their coordination with central governments and water-intensive industries. Part of the OECD’s ongoing Water Governance programme, the Water Governance in Cities report focuses on primarily on OECD countries, presenting a convincing argument that water security and service delivery cannot be taken for granted.

Talking to Cities Today, the author of the report, Aziza Akhmouch, stated that: “We need to fix the institutions that can fix the pipes. Infrastructure upgrades used to rely solely on public spending but they now often require a consensus on who pays for what and water authorities must find innovative sources of finance in a difficult economic context. Better governance should help to catalyse finance and improve efficiency and value for money.”

Of the 48 cities surveyed by the report’s authors, it was found that although water management is improving, water infrastructure is not being upgraded fast enough to meet demand, with 92% of cities saying that old or unfinished infrastructure had an impact on water supply.