Develop economic research
By setting clear targets for the good status of water, the Water framework directive put economic analysis at the heart of water management. It adopted economic principles (the "polluter pays"), analysis techniques (cost effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis) and instruments such as the pricing system, fees and appropriate recovery of costs as the means to fund water services. On all these points, Onema intends to provide decision makers with useful information on methods and operational aspects.
Concerning economic instruments and in a context where water resources are subjected to multiple uses, the WFD takes fully into account the double capacity of economic measures to encourage changes in behaviour on the part of consumers and to fund the means to manage the natural resource and the production of drinking water. For many years, the traditional economic instruments used in the water sector were limited to water tariffs (price of water and fees). However, in light of increasing funding needs for the programmes of measures adopted in 2009, which in France alone will cost 27 billion euros over six years, and the emergence of new preservation issues (river restoration and ecosystem services of aquatic environments), it has become necessary to find innovative funding techniques.