Cost Recovery for Water Services According to the EU Water Framework Directive

Ecological Economics of Sustainable Watershed Management

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1448-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-507-9

ISSN: 1569-3740

Publication date: 18 July 2007


The requirement of full cost recovery for water services including environmental and resource costs in accordance with the polluter pays principle in Art. 9 EU-Water Framework Directive is a unique provision in the history of the European environmental law. The wording of the provision is a compromise between the Council's and the Parliament's versions that mirrors different conceptual ideas on how to internalize environmental and resource costs. Art. 9 now contains a two-step concept for the achievement of the aim. The uniform implementation of the full cost-recovery calls for common accounting standards for the calculation of financial cost and a common methodology for the estimation of environmental and resource costs on the European level. In Germany, the requirements of the first step are partly fulfilled, but necessities of the second step are not being met at the moment.


Unnerstall, H. and Messner, F. (2007), "Cost Recovery for Water Services According to the EU Water Framework Directive", Erickson, J., Messner, F. and Ring, I. (Ed.) Ecological Economics of Sustainable Watershed Management (Advances in the Economics of Environmental Resources, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 347-383.

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