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International focus on water governance, benchmarks and indicators

There is a growing international focus on governance, indicators and benchmarking in the water sector, both globally and in the EU. There appears to be a belief among regulators and water practitioners globally that while there are plenty of measures of outputs, such as environmental indicators, perhaps more can be done to measure how efficiently the services are delivered.

There are some key current strands of work via the UN, the OECD and the EU.

The United Nations is to agree around eight goals for sustainable development post-2015 – and there is a possibility that one of them will be about water and water governance.

The OECD is in the process of devising principles and indicators on water governance, for 2016. The OECD believes water and sanitation are highly important issues because they underpin development.

At EU level, the Commission has outlined a range of measures, including work on benchmarks and indicators, in its considerations of how to respond to the European Citizens Initiative on the Right 2 Water. The European Environment Agency has also just published a report emphasising the importance of governance indicators.

Water UK will continue to follow these debates and contribute ideas and information to support appropriate transparency.