The purpose of the water agency is to improve water quality, encourage more rational management of this resource and preserve the aquatic environment. In order to do this, it levies fees from all users, in line with "polluter-pays" and "user-pays" principles.
The objective of paying water fees is to motivate water users - individual, collective, industrialists, energy companies, farmers and fishermen - towards responsible water management, reducing their consumption and returning water to the system in the best possible condition. This environmental taxation, which is reinvested with stakeholders who undertake operations to protect water and the aquatic environment, acts for the benefit of the area: every euro collected in the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basins finances a local intervention to save water. Water rates are the water agency’s only financial resource.
All water users who alter its quality and availability must pay fees.
Most of the fees levied come from household water bills. Households pay for the quantity of water that they use. The local authority water department collects the rates on behalf of the water agency.
Economic stakeholders (industrialists, energy companies, farmers and breeders, and distributors of phytosanitary products) but also fishing federations, water storage facility operators and operators of structures representing an obstacle on the water courses… also pay fees that target polluting practices, water storage or water abstraction with potential consequences for water and aquatic environment quality.
A legal framework exists, within which rate levels are decided by the water agency board after approval from the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basin committees, representing decision makers and all water user categories, including consumers.
For some fees the levels vary according to geographical zone. Zoning is defined to provide incentives in the most affected areas, based on Water Planning and Management Schemes (SDAGE).
The water agency board established the practical organization of the payment of water fees by deliberation.
Water fee levels are higher in areas of water shortage.
Industrial pollution zoning provides an incentive for the reduction of oxygen consumption and eutrophication of zones under severe pressure.
|"SAVE WATER!” program fees: MODERN AND SIMPLE|
Fees charged under the 10th action program (2013 - 2018) have been adjusted to modernize and simplify the system.
The zoning of water fees has been simplified for greater clarity;
The water fees represent a greater incentive for water savings in areas where water shortages already exist and which will be confronted with the impacts of climate change.
A web service for declaring levels of water fees has been put on-line. The number of fee-payers choosing on-line declaration increases each year.
zoning of water fees has been simplified for greater clarity;
18 500 ratepayers pay water fees and pollution discharge fees in the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica basins.
52% of ratepayers chose on-line declaration in 2016