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Water Consumption: Water saving is a matter for the Member States. Richard Seeber MEP


03 Jul 2012



The European Parliament wants new measures to reduce water consumption in the EU. But these measures must be country and sector specific, says Richard Seeber, the EPP Group's Coordinator in Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

"Only a few countries in Europe do not suffer water stresses in some way, especially now in summer. But this stress is very different depending on the region and the sector", Mr Seeber explained. "Luckily, many countries have large water resources and handle them efficiently. These local conditions absolutely must be taken into account for the new EU rules", continued Mr Seeber, who is the European Parliament's negotiator for the new EU water policy.

"Trying to save water in private households is pointless, since they account for only about 10 percent of total consumption. That is why we must reduce water consumption in sectors which consume a lot and in regions with water scarcity. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' water policy for all of Europe", said Mr Seeber.

"Regional water consumption data must be considered when setting new rules", said Mr Seeber. "The biggest water consumers by far are the energy production and agriculture sectors. Here we can find a huge potential to increase efficiency", he continued. "In Austria, only 5 percent of available water is withdrawn, whereas in Cyprus it is 55 percent. That is why Member States, depending on their water situation, should be free to choose suitable water saving measures."

Richard Seeber also stressed that all existing rules need to be correctly implemented in the Member States: "The treatment of waste water in particular needs to be improved comprehensively." While 97 percent of the population in Central Europe is connected to the waste water system, in Romania and Bulgaria, only about 40 percent of the population is connected. "There is need for action. The most stringent law is only as good as its implementation", he noted.

Parliament today adopted the goals of Europe's future water policy which serve as a basis for the review of the EU's current water legislation which starts in autumn.

For further information:

Richard SEEBER  MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845468

Daniel Köster, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-487-384784

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.



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