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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Water protection and management

Fiches thématiques sur l’UE 01-11-2017

Water is essential for human, animal and plant life and is an indispensable resource for the economy. Its protection and management transcend national boundaries. EU water legislation was transformed with the adoption in 2000 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which introduced a holistic approach for the management and protection of surface waters and groundwater based on river basins. The WFD is supplemented by international agreements and legislation relating to water quantity, quality and ...

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 ...

Water use in the EU

Briefing 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 use in the EU

Briefing 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.

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.