Economic instruments can contribute to sustainable development goals by
improving water pollution management practices. This Brief looks at
three types of economic instrument implemented in Latin America: water
taxes to finance pollution remediation in Colombia; sewage tariffs for
pollution abatement in Brazil; and the establishment of a framework to
charge for pollution in Mexico. All three measures have increased
economic efficiency by reducing pollution costs and, as such,
policymakers in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
facing similar challenges may benefit from learning about these Latin
American experiences. The Brief analyses the implementation of these
tools and the enabling conditions relevant to refining water management
through market mechanisms in developing country contexts.
Strong relationships between governmental agencies, polluters and local
communities can result in actionable policies and achievable targets.
Accurate, transparent and agreed rates reinforce polluter commitment.
Adequate monitoring is essential for redressing pollution and enforcing
Strong national legislation is paramount, yet requires a reliable system
to measure, evaluate and report changes.
Zoninsein, L. ELLA Policy Brief: Economic Instruments for Water Pollution Management in Latin America. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 6 pp.