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The European Environment Agency (EEA) investigated approaches to water pricing in eight countries to find out the impacts of pricing policies on water-use efficiency.

The study finds that water pricing works best when used in combination with other measures, such as raising awareness of saving water, and promoting devices such as water-saving taps and showerheads.

Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden were included in the study.

4 July 2017: The European Environment Agency (EEA) investigated approaches to water pricing in eight countries to find out the impacts of pricing policies on water-use efficiency. The study finds that water pricing works best when combined with other measures, such as raising awareness on the need to save water, and promoting devices such as water-saving taps and showerheads. The study focused on Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

The findings are reported in a briefing document titled ‘Water Management in Europe: Price and Non-Price Approaches to Water Conservation.’ The study reports that the reasons underlying water stress and shortages vary across countries, and include: increased drought periods; pollution of groundwater; and increased water demand from urban populations, agriculture and tourism. Price increases were found to have some impact on water use, but the extent to which this occurred varied. Other effective measures, besides price increases, included reducing leakage in water supply networks, introducing household water meters that help residents track water use, and promoting the use of water-saving devices and more efficient household appliances. The study estimates that such non-price measures could reduce the average water consumption in Europe from its current level of 150 liters per person each day, to 80 liters.

Non-price measures could reduce the average water consumption in Europe from its current level of 150 liters per person each day, to 80 liters.

Seasonal water stress and scarcity affects more than 100 million people. The southern EU states are most affected, but some northern countries are also now experiencing water stress, including the UK and Germany. [EEA Press Release] [Report Summary] [Publication: Water Management in Europe: Price and Non-Price Approaches to Water Conservation]

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