The means of action of the water agencies for the sustainable management of water

To achieve sustainable water management, the water agencies have economic instruments at their disposal (fees and subsidies).

The fees of the water agencies are environmental tax revenues levied on users (consumers and economic activities) in application of the principle of prevention and the principle of repairing damage to the environment. The fees are pooled on the basis of basin solidarity.

Most of the fees are received through the payment of water bills by residential users. Each resident thus contributes individually to this action for the common good and the environment, through the price of water.

Thanks to these fees, the water agencies can then provide financial support, within the framework of their intervention programme (subsidies and loans), to public entities and private individuals who carry out river basin actions or projects for the common good, with the goal of achieving the balanced management of water resources.

As the water agencies are required to achieve results (i.e. good water status), they favour the environmental optimisation of the interventions (aid) by selecting projects in aquatic environments, giving priority to preventive actions, working in tandem with regulatory actions (water police), local actions and regional actions (‘contractualisation’).


Breakdown of financial aid of the water agencies (in %) within the framework of the present intervention programme
Treatment of urban household wastewater 55,8%
Drinking water supply 8,4%
Implementing policies 6,8%
Fighting industrial pollution 5,7%
Restoring the quality of the aquatic environment 10,3%
Fighting agricultural pollution 6,5%
Quantitative management of the resource 6,5%