water policy

Healthy rivers and lakes are not ‘nice-to-haves’, they are essential to our existence

Healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands are our life support system, but EU member states are trying to destroy the law that protects them and the window to save them is closing, warns Andreas Baumüller.

60% of living species declined due to human activity, warns WWF

The ways in which humans feed, fuel and finance modern societies is pushing the planet’s natural systems to the brink, threatening the very foundation on which the world economy is based, according to the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018, published on Tuesday (30 October).
Agrifood 22-10-2018

A watertight CAP

The European Commission needs to deliver an agricultural policy that does not reward agricultural pollution, write Claudia Castell-Exner and Arjen Frentz from Europe's drinking water and wastewater service operators (EurEau).

MEPs must keep water bills from increasing

MEPs must ensure that drinking water remains affordable while protecting public health at the same time, writes Claudia Castell-Exner.

Time to banish wet wipes from our sewers

Plastics in our sewer system costs consumers money and the European water sector has its daily challenges, one of them being sewers getting clogged regularly by plastics and wet wipes, explain Oliver Loebel and Maxime Bineau.
Health 21-09-2018

Mercury in the water: 40% of Europe’s lakes and rivers contaminated

40% of the EU’s surface water bodies are contaminated with levels of mercury, endangering birds and marine mammals. An article by our partner, the Journal de l’Environnement.
Energy 13-09-2018

Drinking water rules cleaned up by MEPs

Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee voted on Monday (10 September) to update drinking water rules to remove pollutants from what comes out of our taps. But they have also been criticised for striking a blow against transparency.
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The EU should deliver healthy and affordable drinking water for all

The EU’s revision of the Drinking Water Directive is the perfect opportunity to ensure that we will all have healthy and affordable drinking water now and for future generations.

Time for EU member states to protect lakes and rivers

The latest science shows that Europe’s freshwater bodies are in a dreadful ecological state. Governments must finally take responsibility and undertake serious efforts to comply with EU legislation, urges Andreas Baumüller.

Paris meeting offers opportunity for leadership on high-seas agreement

The high seas make up nearly two-thirds of the world’s ocean, but less than 1 percent is currently protected. All this could change this September, when governments come together at the United Nations for an intergovernmental conference to negotiate a new treaty that would create a mechanism for protecting these ocean areas, writes Liz Karan.
Health 19-06-2018

Heavy workload delays EU report on environmental impact of drugs

The European Commission’s much-awaited communication on the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals is at an “advanced stage” but might not be adopted in the near future because of other legislative initiatives on the agenda, an EU official has told EURACTIV.com.

Time to invest in Europe’s water infrastructure

Europe’s water infrastructure is ageing in all EU member states. The European Commission is at a pivotal moment and should decide to invest during the next MFF (2021-2027) to reap the health and environmental benefits, and to save money in the long term, writes Klara Ramm.
Energy 06-04-2018

Water-energy nexus: Untying the Gordian knot

The relationship between water and energy is close and fraught with misunderstandings. The European Union has only dipped its toe into the subject, starting with a recent proposal to update the bloc’s drinking water directive. EURACTIV takes a look at...
Agenda for Change 02-03-2018

‘Access to water is a question of good governance, not resources’

Water resources are unequally distributed on the planet. But access to water and sanitation depends mainly on good urban planning, Cécile Gilquin said in an interview with EURACTIV.fr

ECJ ushers in new era for water protection

Disputes over an Austrian hydropower project and snow cannon system are ushering in a new era for water protection across the EU, writes Andrea Johanides.

How Europe can make its water sector energy neutral

The new EU Drinking Water Directive could be the tool to reduce water losses, cut energy consumption and deliver better quality of water, writes Mads Warming.
Energy 07-02-2018

Enhancing water security in urban areas

The rise in the urban population worldwide is expected to lead to a 50% increase in demand for energy and water, generating challenges that exert pressure on water resources and threaten global water security, writes Benedito Braga.

Leaky drinking water rules tightened by EU

The European Commission revealed on Thursday (1 February) how it plans to update drinking water rules, with the goal of improving human health, reducing emissions and tackling plastic waste high on the list of priorities.

Commission maps out plastics vision in new strategy

The European Commission presented on Tuesday (16 January) its eagerly anticipated strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.
Circular economy 16-01-2018

Karmenu Vella: ‘Well-designed’ plastics tax could help hit environment targets

As the European Commission sketches out its vision for the future of plastic production and pollution in its new strategy, the EU executive's environment chief, Karmenu Vella, explained how developments in China, Africa and Europe itself have shaped its plastics roadmap.
Future EU 11-01-2018

Plastic tax and ETS tinkering could plug Brexit hole, suggests EU budget chief

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has revealed that the European Commission will propose taxing plastic and shifting emissions trading income to EU level, in an attempt to balance the bloc’s coffers once the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

UN ready to pursue new treaty to protect high seas

Waters outside national boundaries are currently unregulated, devastated by overfishing and pollution. Now, 140 countries look set to back a motion to establish a treaty. EURACTIV's partner The Guardian reports.
Agrifood 15-12-2017

English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, tests reveal

Rivers in England are contaminated with powerful insecticides, new testing has revealed, increasing concerns over the impact of the toxic chemicals on fish and birds. EURACTIV's partner The Guardian reports.

UN Environment chief: We shouldn’t wait for the oceans to turn into a plastic swamp

At the latest United Nations environment summit, pollution topped the agenda. The man leading the UN’s quest to clean up the planet hopes this meeting will act as the wake-up call countries need and that the fight will include the world of business.