Tbilisi: The Parliament of Georgia approved the draft law “On Water Resources Management” and the package of legislative amendments included in it.
The goal of the reform is to create such legal bases for water resources management, which ensures the implementation of a unified state policy in the field of water resources protection and use, the creation of a safe environment for human health, and the protection and sustainable use of water resources in accordance with integrated principles.
With the implementation of the new law, the river basin management model will be introduced and the special permit regime for water use will be restored, which will make the management of water resources more effective and efficient.
In addition, on the basis of the draft law, the competencies of the authorized bodies will be separated; prioritization of water use within river basins, restoration of the permit system for water abstraction from surface water bodies and discharge of wastewater into surface water bodies; Restoration of the fee for water abstraction from surface water bodies (principle of “paid use of nature”).
The norms established by the draft law will be implemented in the entire territory of Georgia from September 1, 2026.
Notably, reforming the field of water management is an important step towards fulfilling the obligations assumed by Georgia under the Association Agreement with the European Union, which provides for the transformation of the existing legal principles in the field of water resources management and their compliance with international approaches and EU directives.
The draft law is in line with EU water legislation and reflects the approaches and requirements of the main EU directives.
The draft law “On Water Resources Management” was approved by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
It was developed with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and in close cooperation with various public agencies, civil society and private sector representatives and international partners.