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Box 6                  “Water cent” in Germany

13 of the 16 German federal states have introduced the so-called “water cent” as a charge for water abstraction from surface and groundwater[1]. The first federal state which introduced the “water-cent” did so already in the late 1980s, while several other states followed after the adoption of the WFD in 2000.[2] The objective of this instrument is, on the one hand, to encourage the conservation of precious water resources.[3] On the other hand, the collected surcharges have been mainly used to compensate farmers for reducing the use of nitrogen and pesticides in order to reduce the pollution levels of key drinking water sources. In at least one federal state, however, plans have been announced to use the revenue from the “water cent” (whose amount has recently been increased) also for flood protection measures.[4]





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