This book argues that the economic appeal of using water charges to promote efficiency in usage and pollution control can be constrained by institutional and operational problems. Analysing the cases of France, Mexico and Brazil, the authors – respective local experts – illustrate that barriers are similar despite the existing differences among these economies.
Each country evaluation within the book is analysed using the same framework, covering topics of relevance for the application of a policy instrument, namely:
• policy analysis phase: the policy setting in which the water economic instrument (EI) was introduced as a means of achieving policy goals
• instrument design phase: the theoretical, institutional and legal basis on which the EI was conceived
• instrument implementation phase: successes and failures of the EI application and its review process.
Based on this comparative analysis, the authors gather substantial material on institutional and operational barriers constraining the full application of water charges. They also identify possible solutions already in place in these countries to remove or mitigate these barriers. The book concludes that although mistakes and solutions vary, valuable lessons can be learnt by those making decisions on water management and environmental pricing.
Providing a concise and didactic background on the theoretical, conceptual and operational issues related to environmental pricing, this book will appeal to students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners with a specific interest in water management.