This paper explores the intricate issues that prompt water pricing reform in China and India. China adopts a comprehensive pricing framework of cost of resources, treatment and distribution, and environmental requirements, which has been gradually developed part by part since 1980 based on the perception and change of water issues in the country. India follows a simple approach of cost recovery, though its recent policy guidelines talk about more systematic pricing. The results present that both countries fail to realize water pricing policy targets regardless of different pricing structures. But China and India are on the same road and direction of water pricing and China goes a little farther. The treatment of water resources and its services, and property rights have a significant impact on pricing, and costs, including service, resources and environment, are difficult to recover.

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