CLEANWATER / Environmental...           IMPORTANT TO RETAIN

Environmental and Resource Costs

Article 11 of the Water Framework Directive clearly states the need to build a programme of measures: Each member state shall ensure the establishment for each river basin district, or for a part of an international river basin district within its territory, of a programme of measures, taking into account the results of the analysis required under article 5, in order to achieve the objectives established under article 4". In order to elaborate an efficient programme of measures for both the environment and the concerned parties of a river basin, it was clearly necessary to consider the costs of the different measures which need to be taken to achieve water good status.

According to the WATECO glossary of terms, environmental costs are defined as representing the costs of damage that water uses impose on the environment and ecosystems and those who use the environment (e.g. a reduction in the ecological quality of aquatic ecosystems or the salinization and degradation of productive soils).

  • The practical estimation and application of environmental costs in the context of the implementation of the WFD in Romania is based on the principle different costs for different purposes. Based on requirements of Article 9 of Water Framework Directive, environmental costs are approximated by assessment the costs of measures whose primary aim is to protect the water environment based on existing legal (environmental) standards. This approach is used to assess possible future pricing policies to tackle water pollution problems at water body level in river basins as foreseen in Article 9 based on the cost-effectiveness analysis in Annex III of Water Framework Directive. In the framework of the project, four main steps - flow diagram - were finally identified in order to assess the environmental costs associated to necessary measures protecting the environment.

According to the WATECO glossary of terms, resource costs are defined as the costs of foregone opportunities which other uses suffer due to the depletion of the resource beyond its natural rate of recharge or recovery (e.g. linked to the over-abstraction of groundwater).

  • In the Cleanwater project the analysis was focused on groundwater resource due to the fact that the groundwater is a main water supply source wihin the Barlad Basin, which represent the study area. Actually the groundwater abstraction in the rural area represents freely services, the demand of domestic users are covered by not taken into account the use value of groundwater. Water should be never considered as a free good and there is always a resource cost in satisfying water demands. The methodology developed within the project focuses on the main functions of the groundwater resource, provided from the point of view of its social - economical value. Four main services of groundwater storage have been identified in our analysis.

In the framework of the project, Life team has prepared a pragmatic approach Methodology related to the identification and assessment of environmental and resource costs, in accord with recommendations of the EU Guidelines in order to assess the necessary costs for improving the water status and improve awareness of the population and economic actors on the economic and social value of water resources.