Table of Contents
Quotation: Kronvang, B. 2013: Introduction to the environmental Impact Area Water Quality, Quantity and Resources: http://beta.liaise-toolbox.eu/node/1212.
Satisfactory water quality and quantity is of essential importance for mankind and nature. There are great differences in the quantity of water being available for drinking water, irrigation water and for obtaining a sustainable ecology of surface waters in different regions of Europe. Although, the water quality of rivers, lakes, reservoirs and marine waters has dramatically improved during the recent last 2 decades pollution of surface waters and over-exploitation of groundwater and surface water remain major problems. Pollution of surface waters with nutrients and harmful substances is today one of the major water quality problems in surface waters causing eutrophication in rivers, lakes and coastal waters and affecting the quality of drinking water resources. Access to water is also a major global problem since a major fraction of the world's population does not have access to suitable drinking water. Thus, European policies have to be analyzed also with regard to potential implications for the water quantity and availability in other regions of the globe.
Water quality problems occur mainly in areas with a high population density (urban areas), concentrated industrial activities and intensive agricultural production. Main problem areas are organic pollution from point sources (urban sewage water, industrial plants, fish farms, scattered settlements, stormwater runoff), nutrient losses both related to point sources and diffuse sources (mostly agricultural production) and chemical water pollutants from both point sources and diffuse sources).
The European Union has adopted a wide range of policy measures to assure water protection: The 6th European Action Programme (EAP) is a decision of the European Parliament and the Council adopted on 22nd July 2002. It sets out the framework for environmental policy-making in the European Union for the period 2002-2012 and outlines actions that need to be taken to achieve them.
The 6th EAP identifies four priority areas:
- Climate change
- Nature and Biodiversity
- Environment and health
- Natural resources and waste
The 6th EAP promotes full integration of environmental protection requirements into all Community policies and actions and provides the environmental component of the Community's strategy for sustainable development. The link is made between environment and European objectives for growth, competitiveness and employment.
Satisfactory water quality and quantity is of essential importance for mankind and nature. There are great differences in the quantity of water being available for drinking water, irrigation water and for obtaining a sustainable ecology of surface waters in different regions of Europe.
A wide legislative framework for water protection exists, including the Urban Waste Water treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) that regulates pollution through private and certain industrial originators and the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) that regulates pollution through agricultural sources. The European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) aims at a fundamental reform: It expands the scope to all waters (including ground and surface water), demands achievement of "good status" of all waters by set deadlines, requires water management based on river-basins, sets out a combined approach of emission limit values and quality standards and asks for new price incentives and public participation.
The Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC has been developed in response to the requirements of Article 17 of the Water Framework Directive. The directive complements the Water Framework Directive setting up environmental objectives of good groundwater quantitative and chemical status, as well as ensuring a continuity to the Directive 80/68/EEC on the protection of groundwater against pollution caused by dangerous substances, which is due to be repealed under the WFD by the end of 2013.
The European bathing water quality (Council Directive 76/160/EEC) of rivers, lakes and coastal waters as well the European drinking water quality (Directive 98/83/EC) are approached as well.
The EU Council has recently decided to establish a specific programme that implements a new era in European research and innovation: HORIZON 2020 (2014-2020). The objective of the Societal Challenge 'Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials' is to achieve a resource – and water – efficient and climate change resilient economy and society, the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems, and a sustainable supply and use of raw materials, in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the sustainable limits of the planet's natural resources and eco-systems.
Legal basis for the Commission to act
Treaty establishing the European Community: Art. 174, 175 and 176 (Title XIX Environment)
Community policy on the environment shall contribute to pursuit of the following objectives:
Preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment.
Protecting human health.
Prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources.
promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems.
WISE - the Water Information System for Europe: is a gateway to information on European water issues. It comrises a wide range of data and information collected by EU institutions to serve different stakeholders.
WISE-RTD: contains descriptions of projects, models, datasets and policies.
Publications and applications
Content for this term
|Bioeconomic mussel fisheries management model||Model||2014-03-27 14:23|
|COHERENS Ecological modelling||Model||2014-03-25 15:40|
|Integrated Nitrogen Tool across Europe for Greenhouse gases and Ammonia Targeted to Operational Responses||Model||2013-11-26 08:29|
|Kronvang, Brian||Expert||2013-12-03 12:29|
|Nendel, Claas||Expert||2013-01-15 19:37|
|Peterson, Kaja||Expert||2014-03-05 09:38|
|Reidsma, Pytrik||Expert||2014-04-08 17:04|
|Security interests||Impact Area||2014-01-22 18:36|
|Water Quality, Quantity and Resources||Impact Area||2014-01-22 16:15|