Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

The EU should have clean waters by 2015

Adelina Marini, August 6, 2009

The European Commission is expected very soon to consider a new programme of the European River Basin District Authorities, the aim of which is by 2015 Europe to have clean and good water as well as sustainable resources. To achieve this all member states will have to present by the end of the year their plans for water management as well as programmes of measures for their river basin areas, which means all water areas including lakes, streams and rivers as well as coastal areas and ground water. Among those measures are regular water quality checks, Ann-Louise Månsson of the Ministry of the Environment announced on the occasion of the meeting of the European River Basin District Authorities that will take place in Stockholm soon.

The national management plans should also include improvement of surface water quality, reduce pollution caused by the discharge of hazardous substances, protect the ground water, prevent pollution. "I will bring up the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation between agriculture, fisheries and energy as well as other business activities to achieve the goal of cleaner water", says Ann-Louise Månsson.

The meeting will also address the issue of climate change and the challenge it constitutes for water management. To Sweden, climate change may bring increased precipitation, threatening dams, raising sea levels and causing more floods. To southern European countries, the effects may be the opposite, causing drought and water shortages. "We need to discuss how to adapt to these changes. How can we adapt our agriculture? How can we provide southern Europe with water?", Ann-Louise Månsson asked.