EURACTIV PR

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Date

28 Jan 2019

Sections

Health & Consumers
Working with our environment to protect it
 
Brussels, 22 March 2018: The European water sector is facing a broad range of challenges; increasing urbanisation, overuse of precious resources and climate change to name a few.
 
We are certain that the frequency of extreme rain events – and therefore flooding - will increase. Water service providers are responsible for drainage in cities. With the increase of impervious urban areas, urban water management affects our security, environment and health. We need effective and future-proof run-off management to deal with this.
 
“With up to 80% of Europe’s population set to be living in cities by 2050, it is essential that we equip our cities to work with the environment” said EurEau President Bruno Tisserand speaking on World Water Day today 22 March, which focuses on nature based solutions this year.
 
More green spaces, increased storage capacity and delayed run-off for storm waters will help deal with extreme weather events. Several European cities have already incorporated infrastructure into their design to help manage extreme weather events such as cloud bursts.
 
Malmö has 6km of canals and water channels and 10 retention ponds to deal with excess water, and landscape features are integrated into the cityscape which also provides recreational green spaces.
 
The city of Thessaloniki is redesigning urban spaces such as Chrimatistiriou Square to improve infiltration capacity, reduce run-off and decrease the temperature during the hot summer.
 
The European water sector has always worked with nature. We protect drinking water sources, and ensure the safe return of treated waste water to the environment. Policy makers must integrate long term thinking when planning urban spaces in coordination with the European directives such as the Water Framework Directive and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive

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