Key Conclusions and Methodological Lessons from Application of EPIs in Addressing Water Policy Challenges
This final chapter presents the overall balance of collection of cases presented in the whole book. In line with the structure of the book, rather than assessing the EPIs themselves, this analysis focuses on their potential and actual contribution to the goals of water policy as the main criterion to discuss the screening, design and implementation of the EPIs. Furthermore, the discussion focuses on two critical aspects that may determine EPIs’ success or failure: the first one is the need to deal with the multiple goals that are distinctive of water policy; in the water policy arena any instrument is expected to serve to development, financial, environmental and other social goals at the same time and any instrument must consider the trade-offs implied. The second relates with how the EPIs chosen match within the institutional set up which, at least, is essential to define property rights and to reduce transaction costs, and then to make a given EPIs a viable option to improve water governance. Through the revision of the cases presented in the book this chapter stresses the difficulties as well as the importance of building fact based evidence about the virtues of EPIs. In the absence of that, EPIs selection and design is mostly guided by its presumed rather than its actual contribution to water policy. The chapter also contains a balance of the contribution of EPIs to help improving water quality, reduce scarcity and manage drought risks and to protect and restore river ecosystems and concludes with the main lessons learnt from the wide set of experiences covered all along the book.
KeywordsEconomic instruments Water resources management Water policy Water scarcity Water quality River restoration
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