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Water

Quotation: Kronvang, B. 2013: Introduction to the environmental Impact Area Water Quality, Quantity and Resources: http://beta.liaise-toolbox.eu/node/1212.

Description

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.

This impact area is further specified by the taxonomy terms: Availability or Quality of Fresh- or Ground Water, Quality of Coastal and Marine Water and Drinking Water.

Relevant Policies

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.

Web Resources

http://www.eea.europa.eu/

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/index_en.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/environment/index_en.htm

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.

Contact

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Related Terms

Availability or Quality of Fresh- or Ground Water

Quality of Coastal and Marine Water

Drinking Water

Publications and applications

Titel Type of practice Updated date
A GIS-based screening model for assessing agricultural pressures and impacts on water quality on a European scale Publication 2013-12-09 09:45
A multicriteria model for planning agricultural regions within a context of groundwater rational management Publication 2014-03-25 09:17
A multicriteria Model to Support Eco-friendly Agricultural Production Planning Publication 2014-07-14 16:28
A review of multiple criteria analysis for water resource planning and management Publication 2013-12-08 22:52
Ag-PIE: A GIS-based screening model for assessing agricultural pressures and impacts on water quality on a European scale Publication 2013-03-26 16:50
An economic analysis of the possibility of reducing pesticides in French field crops. Special Section - Governing the Commons: Learning from Field and Laboratory Experiments Publication 2013-05-06 19:22
Assessing the impact of the Nitrate Directive on farming systems using a bio-economic modelling chain Publication 2013-03-26 12:36
Assessment of Policy Interrelationships and Impacts on Sustainability in Europe - The APRAISE 3E method Project 2014-02-19 11:29
Cross Compliance Assessment Tool (CCAT) Project 2013-02-19 11:25
Embedding an Ecosystems Approach? The Utilisation of Ecological Knowledges in Decision Making Publication 2014-04-14 15:15
European Research for Impact Assessment Tools Publication 2014-04-17 14:41
Ex-ante institutional compatibility assessment of policy options: methodological insights from a case study on the Nitrate Directive in Auvergne, France Publication 2013-04-19 21:20
IA Report: Action Plan for reducing incidental catches of seabirds in fishing gears (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-26 17:18
IA Report: Communication concerning the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 12:08
IA Report: Communication on Winning the Battle against Global Climate Change Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-05 11:40
IA Report: Ecodesign requirements for water pumps (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:00
IA Report: Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-27 13:30
IA Report: Establishing specific conditions to fishing for deep-sea stocks in the North-East Atlantic and provisions for fishing in international waters of the North-East Atlantic (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-26 17:26
IA Report: General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 "Living well, within the limits of our planet" (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:26
IA report: Mid-term review on the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 22:29
IA Report: Procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-29 16:09
IA Report: Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:31
IA Report: Proposal for a Directive on recreational craft and personal watercraft (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-27 16:27
IA Report: Proposal for a Directive on reporting formalities for ships arriving in or departing from ports of Member States of the Community and repealing Directive 2002/6/EC Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-02 15:36
IA Report: Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Registered Traveller Programme (2013) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-24 13:32
IA Report: Renewable Energy Road Map Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 20:22
IA Report: Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-05 11:46
Impact Assessment of Land Use Policies Publication 2014-04-09 21:11
Impact assessment tools applied to impact assessment of EU policies in agriculture and environment. Publication 2014-04-14 15:49
Mainstreaming ecosystem services into EU policy Publication 2014-04-14 15:45
Methods and tools for integrated assessment of land use policies on sustainable development in developing countries Publication 2014-03-24 12:12
Regional Impact of Irrigation Water Pricing in Greece under Alternative Scenarios of European Policy: A Multicriteria Analysis Publication 2014-03-25 09:18
Screening decisions concerning the likely impacts of plans and projects on Natura 2000 sites Publication 2013-12-17 08:21
Sediment-based investigation of naturally or historically eutrophic lakes—implications for lake management Publication 2013-12-08 14:01
The challenge of embedding an ecosystem services approach: patterns of knowledge utilisation in public policy appraisal. Publication 2014-04-14 15:21
The Policy-Relevancy of Impact Assessment Tools: Evaluating Nine Years of European Research Funding Publication 2014-07-09 16:32
Using the nutrient transfer continuum concept to evaluate the European Union Nitrates Directive National Action Programme Publication 2013-04-19 21:26
Water Assessment as controlled informality Publication 2013-12-08 13:03
Water reclamation, recycling and reuse: implementation issues Publication 2013-12-08 13:35
WFD related agricultural nitrate and phosphate leaching reduction options: Cost estimates derived from farm level survey data & A cost- effectiveness assessment for the Derwent catchment Publication 2013-03-26 12:25

Content for this term

Title Type Updated date
Bioeconomic mussel fisheries management model Model 2014-03-27 14:23
COHERENS Ecological modelling Model 2014-03-25 15:40
E3ME Model 2014-04-23 15:36
ERGOM Model 2014-03-25 15:36
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
NLES-CAT Model 2013-11-26 08:29
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