Date

23 Mar 2009

Sections

Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

EUREAU is happy to launch the “Water : Yes, We Care!” campaign and would like to thanks the numerous MEPs from all over Europe and representing all political groups that have signed it (Adamos ADAMOU, Georgs ANDREJEVS, Liam AYLWARD, Pilar AYUSO, Maria BERGER, Johannes BLOKLAND, Hiltrud BREYER, Elmar BROK, Paulo CASACA, Daniel COHN-BENDIT, Chris DAVIES, Esther de LANGE, Gérard DEPREZ, Avril DOYLE, Edite ESTRELA, Elisabetta GARDINI, Bogdan GOLIK, Françoise GROSSETÊTE, Cristina GUTTIEREZ-CORTINEZ, Caroline JACKSON, Lily JACOBS, Dan JORGENSEN, Christa KLAAS, Raymond LANGENDRIES, Anne LAPPERROUZE, Riitta MYLLER, Peter OLAJOS, Miroslav OUZKY, Alojz PETERLE, Vittorio PRODI, Frédérique RIES, Daciana Octavia SARBU, Richard SEEBER, Marek SIWIEC, Hannu TAKKULA, Charles TANNOCK, Lambert van NISTELROOIJ, Geoffrey VAN ORDEN, Anja WEISGERBER) and invite any other MEPs who hasn’t been able to sign yet to join.

“The goal of our campaign is to put water on the political agenda and I’m happy with the positive response of many MEPs to this initiative” said Pierre-Yves MONETTE, the Secretary General of the Brussels based Federation of drinking and waste water services. “Water is too often perceived has a non problematic issue, as an inexhaustible and cheap resource. We, the water operators, are quite well positioned to inform the policy makers and the citizen that this will no longer be the case if water is not becoming a political priority. Water must be higher in the EU agenda” he added having just returned from the 5th World Water Forum held in Istanbul.

“We are willing to set up an intergroup on water after the European elections in June, combining the efforts of the different ongoing initiatives on water that already exist, and we really hope that many MEPs will actively participate in this intergroup” concluded the Federation.

Water is the basis of life; consequently water is in great demand all over the world. Unfortunately, water is also a limited and vulnerable resource, not equally distributed. The use of water affects the quality of this resource itself as well as the environment and the nature in a broader sense.

People need water for their physical well-being, not only to drink or to do their washing but also as a resource for agriculture and industry. Worldwide over one billion people do not have access to safe drinking water within fifteen minutes walking distance from homes. Europe is privileged in this sense as drinking water facilities have been available here for centuries. Water is of prime importance for the industrial sector as well, as it is used in a variety of ways for transport, cooling and heating, cleaning, washing and also as raw material.

It is therefore essential to manage the supply and disposal of water wisely to ensure that clean water continues to be available to us and to future generations, and at an affordable price. Besides the industrial and household sectors, water is also essential for ecosystems and agriculture.

Also, European rivers and lakes are of great importance for our economies and our well-being, but more generally they support crucial ecologies that make up our natural environment. At the launch of the Water Framework Directive in 2003, 20% of European surface waters were seriously threatened, 60% of its ground waters were over-exploited and 50% of its wetlands had “endangered” status mainly due to lack of treatment, over-exploitation and lack of environmental legislation in the past.

There will be increasing pressure on water resources the coming decades due to climatic change. Rapid climatic change might lead to strain and shortages, including in regions where this has never been observed before. Climate change represents a key challenge for the water sector in terms of availability of water, flooding in urban areas and impacts on water and waste water treatment systems and assets.

Contact Person : Gregory MATHIEU, Communication Officer
g.mathieu@eureau.org
+32 2 706 40 80
+32 473 72 23 56