Ministers back OECD Principles on Water Governance

Moving toward more effective, efficient and inclusive design and implementation of water policies, with more integrity!

Ministers from OECD’s 34 member countries welcomed the OECD Principles on Water Governance at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on June 4, 2015.

The 12 Water Governance Principles provide a framework for the design and implementation of tangible and outcome-oriented water policy based on effectiveness, efficiency, trust and engagement. They 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.

Three principles related to trust and engagement refer specifically to integrity and integrity enablers for policy and governance.

  • Principle 9: Mainstream integrity and transparency practices across water policies, water institutions and water governance frameworks for greater accountability and trust in decision-making […]
  • Principle 10: Promote stakeholder engagement for informed and outcome-oriented contributions to water policy design and implementation […]
  • Principle 11: Encourage water governance frameworks that help manage trade-offs across water users, rural and urban areas, and generations, through the promotion of non-discriminatory participation in decision-making across people, especially vulnerable groups and people living in remote areas […] and the promotion of public debate on the risks and costs associated with too much, too little or too polluted water, to raise awareness, build consensus on who pays for what, and contribute to better affordability and sustainability now and in the future […]
  • And, Principle 12: Promote regular monitoring and evaluation of water policy and governance where appropriate, share the results with the public and make adjustments when needed […]

Next steps will include the identification and scaling of best practices and the development of water governance indicators to support the implementation of the Principles.

The principles are big step forward for water integrity and strong reference tool for fairer water policy reform in and beyond the OECD.