Factsheet #50

Regulation on water withdrawal fees

Instrument Type


Governance Level


Governance Mode


Water management topics addressed

Drought & water scarcity
Water abstraction for irrigation and other economic activities

Implementation requirements

Financial capacity


Human capacity


Political buy-in


Timeframe for implementation


#50: Regulation on water withdrawal fees


Regulation on water withdrawal fees for surface waters, coastal waters and groundwater.


The amount of the fee is defined in the regulation. The fee is used for measures regarding: water and water balance protection, nature conservation and restoration, subsidies for managing land in water protection areas (with limited use possibilities), compensation and indemnification payments, etc. 

Example: Lower Saxony Water Act (NWG), Germany

The Lower Saxony Water Act establishes a water withdrawal fee (§ 21) used to finance a broad range of measures for the protection of waters and the water balance, and nature conservation (§28). These can take the form of subsidies to water supply companies for the purchase or lease of land in water protection areas (§ 28(3)), compensation and indemnification payments (§59) and the promotion of the efficient use of water, in particular model and pilot projects for small and medium-sized enterprises. Other measures include the support of water protection consulting or the compensation for economic disadvantages resulting from contractually agreed restrictions on the use of land for agriculture, forestry or horticulture beyond good professional practice. 



Niedersächsisches Wassergesetz
(NWG) - Lower Saxony Water Law (2010). http://www.voris.niedersachsen.de/jportal/?quelle=jlink&query=WasG+ND&psml=bsvorisprod.psml&max=true&aiz=true Retrieved 24 September 2020

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