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Water reuse: Setting minimum requirements

20-04-2020

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 %. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 12 February 2019, and the Council agreed on a general approach on 26 June 2019. Trilogue negotiations concluded with a provisional agreement on 2 December. The agreed text, endorsed by the ENVI committee on 21 January 2020, was adopted at first reading by the Council on 7 April. It now returns to the Parliament for final adoption at second reading. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Didier Bourguignon. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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 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.

Water legislation: Cost of Non-Europe Report

20-05-2015

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 ‘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 achievement of the goals set in the legislation. More European action would accordingly be necessary to limit the impact on Europe's water quality of flooding or of pharmaceutical residues. To limit the use of fresh water more generally, there is a need for European coordination to increase the use of water-efficient equipment and water-metering.  This research makes a cautious estimate that the benefits of full implementation of existing legislation could reach 2.8 billion euro per year. The study also demonstrates that further European action in this field could provide further added value, representing a ‘cost of non-Europe’ of some 25 billion euro per year.

Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction on the Environment and on Human Health – 2012 Update

15-10-2012

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 ...

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 taking into account the cumulative risks of multiple installations typical for unconventional gas activities.

Autor externo

Matthias ALTMANN, Werner Weindorf and Werner ZITTEL (Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH) , Stefan LECHTENBÖHMER (Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy)

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.

Autor externo

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

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