, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 40–45 | Cite as

Cost Recovery for Water Services in the EU

  • Erik Gawel
Water Services


The EU Water Framework Directive stipulates the principle of cost recovery, including environmental and resource costs, for European water services. Yet a definition of member states’ precise obligations is highly controversial. This particularly holds true for the question whether the request for cost recovery can be restricted to water supply and wastewater disposal only, as many member states argue. The European Court of Justice has now decided on the Commission’s infringement proceedings against Germany regarding the scope of the term “water services”. In its eagerly awaited substantive decision, the Court dismissed the Commission’s action as unfounded but left the door open for further claims. However, many legal arguments in favour of a strict interpretation of cost recovery are not only misleading but also pass up valuable opportunities to deal with scarce water resources in an efficient way.


Member State Water Framework Directive Water Service Cost Recovery Resource Cost 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© ZBW and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department ÖkonomieHelmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZLeipzigGermany

Personalised recommendations