EU Climate Adaptation Strategy adopted
The European Commission adopted today the
Good news: the protection of water resources is a priority for climate adaptation!
The Strategy proposes a series of measures to address the impacts of climate change on the quantity and quality of water resources: this is fundamental for climate resilience.
"Sustainable water use requires transformational changes in all sectors."
For this reason the Commission will enhance the "engagement of the Common Implementation Strategy of the Water Framework and Floods Directives. Nature based solutions are particularly well suited for climate resilience to water impacts. Climate change exacerbates the challenge of sharing water resources and requires closer cooperation between adaptation action and water management authorities, including across borders."
In order to reduce water use, "the Commission will promote a wider use of drought management plans, measures to increase the water retention capacity of soils and safe water reuse".
An important step is the recognition that Commission and Member States must also promote the transition to water-saving technologies and practices by setting a price that correctly reflects the value of water. This can be achieved by promoting instruments such as water resource allocation, water-permitting systems and by incorporating environmental externalities.
Finally there is a specific acknowledgement that climate change also threatens water quality. "A stable and secure supply of drinking water is of highest importance and it must be guaranteed. Climate change will increase the risk of contamination and acute pollution of freshwater due to impacts such as low river flows, increased water temperatures, flooding, and forest loss. It is important to include climate impacts in the risk analyses of (drinking) water management plans, develop water-monitoring technologies, and ensure minimum river flow." "Similarly, it is important to maximise the capacity of soils to purify water and reduce pollution".
Water services support very much with this renewed attention for water in the Adaptation Strategy.
The actions envisaged are necessary to preserve the sustainability of water services and to realise the human right to water now and for future generations.
Water matters. EU matters.
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