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An Indispensable Resource: EU Freshwater Policy

HL 296, Thirty-third Report of Session 2010-12

House of Lords - European Union Committee
TSO (The Stationery Office)

Europe is not doing enough to protect itself from the threats to water resources in large parts of the continent, 'An Indispensable Resource: EU Freshwater Policy (HL 296)' finds. Urgent action is required to safeguard water quality and availability in the UK and many areas of Europe which are already suffering from the effects of a significant lack of rain.

The Government should bring forward the deadline for reforming the water abstraction regime, outlined in its water White Paper, 'Water for life (Cm. 8230)' (listed below). More than 10% of rivers are abstracted to an extent that may damage water ecosystems, but the Government has set a target of the mid to late 2020s for reforming the regime, which fails to respond to the urgency of the situation.

Other recommendations include:

  • the EU must start planning immediately for a future in which water resources will be increasingly uncertain;

  • the Government must allow the cost of water to increase where other measures to tackle water scarcity have failed;

  • more must be done to promote the catchment level as an important level of governance, in the Blueprint for the future of the EU's water resources (due later this year);

  • local stakeholders (for example, rivers trusts, amenity groups, anglers and farmers) should be allowed to play a much greater role in decisions on issues such as river catchments, in order to reconnect people with the value of water as a resource; and

  • the EU should encourage all Member States to develop national water scarcity and drought management plans.

Extent 75 pages ISBN 9780108475832
Size A4 Price £14.50
Format Paperback Published 02 May 2012
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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Related titles:

Water for Life - Cm. 8230