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Parliamentary questions
26 July 2017
P-004101/2017
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the Commission

The Commission is aware of the increasing water problems in different parts of the EU and in particular that many are facing water scarcity and drought problems and risks.

The Commission would like to point out that the possible breach of specific national policy related to volumes of transferred water is not governed by EC law, and therefore the Commission is not competent to intervene. It is a matter that should be dealt with by national courts. Nevertheless, the Commission's assessment of the first Spanish River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs)(1) identified as a systemic problem that the establishment of ecological flows in the Spanish RBMPs is not linked to the achievement of the objectives under the Water Framework Directive (WFD)(2) and that environmental objectives have not been correctly defined for Heavily Modified Water Bodies (i.e. reservoirs). This issue is being currently investigated and will be followed-up in the ongoing assessment of the updated RBMPs, to see if it has been adequately addressed.

As for the environmental emergency, the Commission already has in place several policy tools and recommendations on how to approach water scarcity and drought problems. The Commission published a review of the European Water Scarcity and Droughts Policy(3) and adopted the Water Blueprint(4) in 2012, which proposed a number of water efficiency measures to be implemented at Member States level under the WFD.

(1)SWD(2015)0056 final.
(2)2000/60/EC, OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.
(3)http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52012DC0672
(4)http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/blueprint/index_en.htm

Last updated: 4 August 2017Legal notice