Published January 4, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Assessing the impact of the 2015 NOTRe Law: a big bang for the organization of water services in France

  • 1. National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (CNAM), Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Action-oriented Sciences (LIRSA), Paris, France.


In France, for nearly 150 years, the provision of water services fell under the responsibility of 36,000 municipalities which could organize these services at their own scale or within the framework of a variety of communal associations. Municipalities also decided if water services were to be publicly managed or delegated to private operators. Despite recurrent reforms, these arrangements remained in place for many decades, but in 2015 the NOTRe Law transferred jurisdiction over water services from 36,600 municipalities to 2,000 urban and rural communities. This Law is the culmination of a series of policy reforms aimed at restructuring the management of water services and constitutes a significant challenge for rural areas and small towns.



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