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The report provides a general approach to deciding the "" where, when, and how much "" in developing and implementing wastewater management interventions. Its scope covers two main considerations: 1) the need to incorporate the general principles that determine water resources management policies into the design and selection of wastewater management and pollution control interventions; and 2) the need to address water quality problems at the appropriate geographical scale, normally at the river basin level. The report looks at the experience of four higher-income countries (France, Germany, Spain, and the United States) in managing wastewater at the river basin level. Each of them has gone through three stages: uncoordinated local management at first, then a decentralized approach with a lead planning and facilitation agency to help set priorities at the river basin level, and more recently a move toward uniform disposal standards. The paper concludes that the first stage has led to inefficiencies as well as gaps in coverage; and the third stage "" blanket "" approach gives poor value-for-money-a second-stage approach would be more effective for capital-scarce economies. Recent experiences in developing countries are assessed against this framework. The paper then maps a process by which a "" stage-two "" approach could be implemented in a river basin, the role and design of a lead water resource agency, the planning process, and the role of stakeholders.

Publisher: World Bank

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