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Comparative Scorecard Assessment of Urban Water Pricing Policies—The Case of Jordan and Iran

Center for Sustainable Development, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha P.O. Box 2713, Qatar
Institute for Technology and Resources Management the Tropics and Subtropics, TH-Köln—University of Applied Sciences, Betzdorfer Straße 2, 50679 Cologne, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 704;
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socioeconomic Indicators for Sustainable Water Management)
PDF [276 KB, uploaded 5 April 2019]


Urban water pricing is becoming increasingly important due to the rapid rate of urbanization and the expansion of water reclamation and reuse. The mounting evidence of failures of current pricing schemes makes analyzing their performance essential for understanding the adequacy of economic and sustainability policies in water management. However, urban water pricing policies are complex, serve multiple objectives, and vary widely across regions and countries. This paper presents an assessment framework for urban water pricing policies based on common conditions advocated for well-functioning pricing policies. Using a simplified scorecard, it compares the performance of urban water pricing policies in Jordan and Iran, two countries under growing scarcity pressure. Both countries show serious deficiencies with regard to the economic valuation of water services and the cost recovery of utilities. Public policies are rather oriented towards access and affordability, with Jordan showing a higher level of transparency and competition in tariff-setting. The assessment tool indicates a high potential for experience-sharing in future reforms, which should promote water as a scarce good. Such reforms need to prioritize full cost valuation, participation, and scientifically based designs of local and regional water tariffs. View Full-Text
Keywords: water prices; water sector performance; pricing assessment; full cost recovery; Iran; Jordan water prices; water sector performance; pricing assessment; full cost recovery; Iran; Jordan
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Al-Saidi, M.; Dehnavi, S. Comparative Scorecard Assessment of Urban Water Pricing Policies—The Case of Jordan and Iran. Water 2019, 11, 704.

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