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Water in Central Asia: An increasingly scarce resource

12-09-2018

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian ...

While it is rich in fossil fuels and minerals, Central Asia is poor in water. However, water plays a key role in the economies of the five Central Asian countries. In mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, hydroelectricity is already a vital energy resource; new dams could also make it a major export revenue earner. Downstream, river water irrigates the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Heavy water use, particularly in agriculture, is putting water supplies under pressure. Central Asian countries have to share limited resources fairly, while balancing the needs of upstream hydroelectricity generation and downstream agriculture. For this reason, cooperation is vital. However, competition for water has often been a source of tensions, particularly between Uzbekistan and its upstream neighbours. The situation has improved recently, now that Uzbekistan's new president has taken a more constructive approach to resolving these regional water-related problems. Water use also has many environmental implications. Soviet engineers succeeded in turning deserts into fertile farmland, but at the expense of the Aral Sea, a formerly huge inland lake that has all but dried up. Intensive agriculture is also polluting the region's rivers and soils. Leaky irrigation infrastructure and unsustainable greening projects are wasting huge amounts of water. In future, more efficient water use and closer cooperation will become increasingly necessary, as population growth and climate change pile pressure on the region's scarce water resources. The EU has made water one of the main priorities of its development aid for the region. Among other things, EU funding supports regional cooperation and improvements to water infrastructure.

Setting minimum requirements for water reuse

06-09-2018

The Commission proposal aims to increase the uptake of water reuse for agricultural irrigation. The supporting impact assessment (IA) is based on extensive data and analysis. The range of options, the scope and the analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to have been done in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines. However, the objectives set in the IA are not time-bound, nor measurable. Furthermore, proportionality of the options and the presentation of the problem could be ...

The Commission proposal aims to increase the uptake of water reuse for agricultural irrigation. The supporting impact assessment (IA) is based on extensive data and analysis. The range of options, the scope and the analysis of impacts, and the stakeholder consultation seem to have been done in line with the Better Regulation Guidelines. However, the objectives set in the IA are not time-bound, nor measurable. Furthermore, proportionality of the options and the presentation of the problem could be improved.

Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

06-09-2018

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating ...

Although freshwater is relatively abundant in the European Union (EU), water stress occurs in many areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region and parts of the Atlantic region, with environmental and economic impacts. In May 2018, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a regulation setting EU-wide standards that reclaimed water would need to meet in order to be used for agricultural irrigation, with the aim of encouraging greater use of reclaimed water and contributing to alleviating water scarcity. The Commission estimates that the proposal could increase water reuse in agricultural irrigation from 1.7 billion m³ to 6.6 billion m³ per year, thereby reducing water stress by 5 %. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is considering the proposal. The Environment Council discussed the proposal on 25 June 2018.

Ochrana vodních zdrojů a vodní hospodářství

01-02-2018

Vodu ke svému životu nezbytně potřebují lidé, zvířata i rostliny a je rovněž důležitá pro hospodářství. Ochrana vody a hospodaření s vodou překračují státní hranice. Rámcová směrnice o vodě stanoví právní rámec pro ochranu a obnovu čisté vody v EU a pro zajištění jejího dlouhodobého a udržitelného využívání. Doplňují ji konkrétnější právní předpisy, jako je směrnice o pitné vodě, směrnice o vodách ke koupání, směrnice o povodních nebo rámcová směrnice o strategii pro mořské prostředí, a mezinárodní ...

Vodu ke svému životu nezbytně potřebují lidé, zvířata i rostliny a je rovněž důležitá pro hospodářství. Ochrana vody a hospodaření s vodou překračují státní hranice. Rámcová směrnice o vodě stanoví právní rámec pro ochranu a obnovu čisté vody v EU a pro zajištění jejího dlouhodobého a udržitelného využívání. Doplňují ji konkrétnější právní předpisy, jako je směrnice o pitné vodě, směrnice o vodách ke koupání, směrnice o povodních nebo rámcová směrnice o strategii pro mořské prostředí, a mezinárodní dohody.

River Basins and Water Management in Spain

15-07-2016

This Study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI committee. It aims to analyze issues related to the petitions from Spanish citizens on the Spanish side of the Tagus and Ebro River Basin Districts. Two main solutions have been brought forward in order to solve the water shortage in Spain: water transfer or desalination. The most widely used approach so far has been the transfer, which ...

This Study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI committee. It aims to analyze issues related to the petitions from Spanish citizens on the Spanish side of the Tagus and Ebro River Basin Districts. Two main solutions have been brought forward in order to solve the water shortage in Spain: water transfer or desalination. The most widely used approach so far has been the transfer, which has been proposed for both the Tagus and Ebro rivers. As indicated in the Study, in Spain the water-related issues have frequently no political or social dimension but the territorial significance. This Study tries to illuminate problems and issues related to the river basins management in Spain while considering the applicable EU legislation.

Externí autor

Ana de Marcos Fernández (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid - Spain)

Water use in the EU

27-04-2016

Water stress is st eadily increasing, as a result either of droughts – a temporary decline in water resources due to low rainfall – or situations of water scarcity, where demand exceeds the level of sustainable use. Assessment of the global use of water resources is hampered by the lack of established standards, and conventional measurements may yield diverging results. Data extracted in April 2016. This is an updated version of a document published in May 2015.

Water stress is st eadily increasing, as a result either of droughts – a temporary decline in water resources due to low rainfall – or situations of water scarcity, where demand exceeds the level of sustainable use. Assessment of the global use of water resources is hampered by the lack of established standards, and conventional measurements may yield diverging results. Data extracted in April 2016. This is an updated version of a document published in May 2015.

Water use in the EU

29-05-2015

Water stress is steadily increasing, as a result either of droughts – a temporary decline in water resources due to low rainfall – or situations of water scarcity, where demand exceeds the level of sustainable use. Assessment of the global use of water resources is hampered by the lack of established standards, and conventional measurements may yield diverging results.

Water stress is steadily increasing, as a result either of droughts – a temporary decline in water resources due to low rainfall – or situations of water scarcity, where demand exceeds the level of sustainable use. Assessment of the global use of water resources is hampered by the lack of established standards, and conventional measurements may yield diverging results.

Effluent Charging Systems in the EU Member States

01-09-2001

The main purpose of this study is to analyse and evaluate the effluent charging and enforcement systems of the 15 EU Member States, including the institutional responsibilities and the conditions related to the issuing of permits to discharge effluents directly into natural waters. The information on which this report is based was collected mainly from water authorities in the Member States, usually from the ministries responsible for environmental affairs.

The main purpose of this study is to analyse and evaluate the effluent charging and enforcement systems of the 15 EU Member States, including the institutional responsibilities and the conditions related to the issuing of permits to discharge effluents directly into natural waters. The information on which this report is based was collected mainly from water authorities in the Member States, usually from the ministries responsible for environmental affairs.

Externí autor

Institute for International and European Environmental Policy, Berlin (D)

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