Water policy in Azerbaijan is mainly implemented through water legislation, particularly, through the Water Code(1999). The Water Code is the basis for water management in Azerbaijan and sets out the following main principles for use and protection:
- development of economy and environmental protection;
- provision of the population with qualitative water;
- combination of administrative - territorial and basin principles;
- differentiation of the functions on management in the use and protection of water objects, as well as functions of their economic utilisation.
Currently, the Strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2017-2035 regarding integrated water resources management is under development. The National Water Strategy (NWS) will be aimed at the development of water resources management and water protection as well as water supply and sanitation in Azerbaijan to better meet both international and EU level standards and objectives. The draft Strategy contains goals which are divided into short-term (6 years), medium-term (18 years) and long-term goals. Strategy proposes that the regional administration would be based on the catchment areas.
By support of EU EPIRB some attempts are done to support beneficiary organisations to harmonise national legislation according to principles of WFD, UWWTD and Floods Directive.
- Support to further reforms of water policies, establishment of an adequate governance framework, and development of institutional capacities in support of policy implementation
- Support the transition from pilot basin to country scale timely implementation of EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) principles for integrated water resources management and River Basin Management Plan harmonisation in transboundary basins
- Strengthening of the monitoring of the water bodies status and upgrade needed infrastructure and quality management
- Institutional capacity building to insure sustainable results
- Support to National Policy Dialogue process
- Recast of the National Water Strategy (NWS)
- Development of a National Water Action Programme
- Secondary legislation development
- Finalizing of targets and reporting under the Protocol on Water and Health
- Finalization of bilateral agreement with Georgia on the Kura River
- Implementation of certain aspects of the Kura agreement with Georgia