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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 ...

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 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.

This ‘Cost of Non-Europe’ report examines the state of implementation of current EU Water Legislation and identifies the cost of the lack of further European action in this field. The assessment made of existing water legislation confirms that there are still implementation gaps and areas of poor performance. The examination of five case studies, where it was believed that a significant potential exists for further EU action, served to demonstrate that there are several barriers which hinder the ...

This study discusses the possible impacts of hydraulic fracturing on the environment and on human health updating a study published in 2011. Detailed studies of environmental risks arising from unconventional gas extraction activities have been published recently on European and national levels substantially broadening and deepening the scientific basis. However, knowledge and availability of information are still limited. High risks are identified in a number of environmental aspects, notably when ...

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.