A New Ambition for Water Resources in Europe

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Global pressure is mounting around water resources. The World Economic Forum continues to rank water crises as one of the greatest threats to developing and developed states’ economies—let alone their population’s security. The alarm has been raised and Europe has received the message; the European Union must do its part to turn a crisis into an opportunity. This is the underlying message of a Commission that is curently reviewing its directive on drinking water as well as proposing a new regulation on water reuse. It is a message of positive nature though, one that is set against a fragile timeline. The issues are interdisciplinary in a way that they involve experts from a variety of fields coming together to propose cost-effective and sustainable solutions to the use and valuing of water resources across Europe. Not necessarily under a strict hierarchy, the European Union is committed to tackling drinking water quality, water management and infrastructure, energy generation and the water nexus, among others. The situation is as such: urban infrastructure is outdated or deteriorating, the current management tools are inefficient or even wasteful and water consumption in the energy sector, to name a critical area, undermines efforts to move to renewables. The strengthen this image, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates €10,3 trillion is required to invest solely in infrastructure to meet global water demands by 2030. The burden on European states is significant in light of ageing infrastructure and agricultural intensive economies—the solutions will require investment at a time when interest rates are low and consumption ever-growing.


    • After four decades of EU water policy, where are we now?
      Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
    • The future of water: establishing a fair equilibrium for our citizens
      Ioan Denes, Minister of Waters and Forest, Roumania
    • Further delay in adapting to climate change threatens millions
      Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General from 2007 – 2016, Founder and Co-Chair The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens is an independent nonprofit organization
      Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
    • Guaranteeing good quality drinking water, accessible and economic
      Sergio Costa, Italian Minister of the Environment
    • The new water policy: preparing for a better water future (the inevitable!)
      Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition, Spain
    • Malta’s New Water Programme – water reuse for sustainable water management
      Joe Mizzi, Maltese Minister for Energy and Water
    • From Waste Water to Resource Water
      Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, Minister of Environment and Food, Denmark
    • A call for stronger cooperation in order to protect European waters
      Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission
    • Raising the standard for drinking water for all European citizens
      Michel Dantin, MEP (EPP Group), Rapporteur “Drinking Water Directive” (Recast)
    • Drinking water: ensuring the highest quality while reducing red tape
      Müller Ulrike, MEP (ALDE Group), Shadow Rapporteur “Drinking Water Directive” (Recast)
    • Governing water resources for secure futures
      Håkan Tropp, Head of OECD Water Governance Programme, Cities, Urban Policies, and Sustainable Development Division, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs,Regions and Cities
    • Who pays? We need implementation of EU law to ensure that water consumers are not the ones paying for costly additional treatments to keep our water safe
      Bruno Tisserand, EurEau President
    • Citizen at the heart of future water policy: access, human rights, participation and full transparency
      Benedek Jávor, MEP, (Greens/EFA Group), Member of the ENVI Committee
    • Responsible Water Management for EU Citizens’ Welfare
      Antoine Frerot, Chairman & CEO, VEOLIA
    • Time to harmonise hygiene requirements on materials and products in contact with drinking water
      Volker Meyer, Chairman of the European Drinking Water Industrial Alliance (EDW)
    • Harnessing Data to Ensure the EU’s Water Future
      Christian Blanc, Senior Vice President and President, Europe Commercial Team, Xylem Inc.
    • A coherent approach for water and agriculture to ensure the long-term objective of a sustainable European agriculture
      Jerzy Plewa, Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission
    • A circular approach to water efficiency
      Simona Bonafe, MEP(S&D Group), Rapporteur for water reuse for irrigation, Member of the ENVI Committee