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Cost Recovery and Water Pricing in Water Services and Water Uses in Germany

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Article 9 of the Water Framework Directive requires Member States to take account of the cost recovery principle with regard to “water services” and to provide, by water pricing policies, adequate economic incentives for an efficient and environmentally sound water usage. This contribution exposes the interpretation and implementation of Article 9 WFD in Germany. It shows that a stringent cost recovery approach is applied to classic water supply and that an incentivizing pricing instrument is implemented by most German States in the form of a water abstraction levy. However, this levy is not applied in all Stats and those applying it are making considerable exemptions for important water using industries. It is concluded that this is barely in line with Article 9 WFD.

Affiliations: 1: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig,


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