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Why Europe´s water law is needed


03 Jul 2012



The European Parliament today adopted a report which calls for better implementation of the current water legislation and identification of new challenges and gaps in order to achieve long-term sustainability of water resources.

Clean water and stable water resources in Europe, and across the world, is a vital challenge for the future. Water also plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle. All water ecosystems (rivers, lakes and streams) need to be better protected. The European Union Water legislation, as a horizontal policy, is necessary because water issues easily cross national boundaries and require concerted action at the EU level.

MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (D66, NL), ALDE spokesperson on this issue, said: "Better implementation of the current water legislation is crucial. As long as Member States fail to implement it correctly we will not achieve good water status in 2015. According to a Dutch study published this week, water quality has hardly improved in the Netherlands since 2001. This is unacceptable. A small number of companies are responsible for most of the pollution. So reaching our water goals is a matter of political will."

The main objective of report is to ensure access to good quality water in sufficient quantity for all European citizens. The key points of the report include:

• more efficient and sustainable management of water resources and ecosystems (on river basins across the borders),

• expanding the scope of water protection to all waters,

• achieving environmental and consumer conditions for all waters implementing by new EU legislation,

• mechanism for controlling of pollution at water sources (emission limit values, "polluter pays" principle),

• streamlining of consumption measurement systems (inefficient use of water resource, leaks in the distribution),

• promoting wastewater policy (recycling facilities and developing financing strategies for wastewater infrastructure),

• evaluating the sustainability of new renewable energy sources,

• streamlining and simplifying new legislation

Notes: The European Commission will publish in November this year a "Blueprint to safeguard Europe´s water resources" as the EU policy response to current and future water challenges and ways to improve EU´s water resources efficiency.   

For more information, please contact 

Corlett Neil - Tel:+32 2 284 20 77 Mob:+32 478 78 22 84

Halko Norbert - Tel:+32 2 284 26 02 Mob:+32 484 75 17 22


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