Water Affordability in Europe

Public operators’ approaches and views in tackling water poverty

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Nowadays the international community widely acknowledges that the affordability of water and sanitation services is crucial for the realization of the human right to water.

However, water affordability is a multi-faceted concept, encompassing various—and not only economic—dimensions. For this reason, ensuring affordability is a complex task, which entails both methodological and practical challenges.

This report aims therefore to present a series of concrete solutions, developed and implemented by public water operators across Europe, to address this issue. Based on public operators’ accounts and perspectives, the report tries to assess the pros and cons of the main approaches identified, against their capacity to reconcile affordability with other essential water policy objectives, such as sustainable water consumption and cost-recovery.

This publication was presented at the APE Seminar "Water Affordability in Europe" on the 20th October 2016 in Brussels.

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