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.
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.

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.

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.

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.
Circular economy 27-09-2017

Squaring the circle of plastics recycling

The snail pace so far in terms of implementation of the EU Action Plan on the Circular Economy is embarrassing, write Anders Wijkman and Catia Bastioli.

Is water a female issue?

Around 30% of the world's population still do not have access to safe drinking water and 60% do not have safe sanitation, but lack of access to sanitation affects women more than men, Bruno Tisserand explains in the aftermath of World Water Week, hosted in Stockholm last week.
Electricity 01-06-2017

Energy islands: Symbols of transformation and independence

Malta epitomises the value of islands in leading the transition to cleaner sources of energy, and ultimately in symbolising the potential for energy independence, writes Stuart Reigeluth.

European companies compete for water solutions

European companies are competing in the petri-dish of innovative projects looking to provide water solutions in the arid lands of the eastern Arabian Peninsula, writes Stuart Reigeluth.

Europe leads sustainable development agenda

Sustainability should be integrated as a leitmotif and goal of every policy formulated and implemented, writes Stuart Reigeluth.

Using sewage to make Europe’s economy truly circular

Sewage sludge is a potentially vast source of nutrients for fertilisers. The Commission is missing a golden opportunity by excluding it from the Fertiliser Regulation, writes Arne Haarr.

‘Share the knowledge’ at UN’s Quito summit on cities – or wait until 2036

Some 90% of urban growth over the next 30 years will happen in developing countries. If we squander the chance to set them on the path to sustainability now, it may be lost for ever, write Eva Dic and Maria-Theres Haase.
Development Policy 26-09-2016

EU Budget: yesterday’s solutions no longer work today

Those familiar with Brussels’ routines know that, at this time of the year, EU institutions’ representatives gather to agree on the budget for 2017. Negotiations are known to be passionate, to say the least, writes Tamira Gunzburg.

EU and New Zealand: Partnership powers in the Pacific

Small developing states in the Pacific have traditionally relied on imports of fossil fuels. The cost of the fuel, combined with its price volatility, and the islands' geographic remoteness, are all significant strains on these small economies, write Andrew Jacobs and Michalis Rokas.
Development Policy 09-09-2016

Seven critical questions for review of ‘European Consensus on Development’

There are many changes impacting the future of European development cooperation: a serious existential crisis in the European Union in the wake of Brexit, a newly agreed 2030 global sustainable development and climate change agenda, and major geopolitical shifts, writes Andrew Sherriff.

Drinking water: A human right only if everybody can afford it

The European Citizens' Initiative 'Right2Water' is the first to be debated a public hearing in the European Parliament. But the debate risks taking a wrong direction by focusing on political considerations only, writes Jean-Thomas Lesueur.
Agrifood 14-12-2012

Exporting water through food

Food production is water intensive. This ‘virtual water’ both represents a challenge and an opportunity, since it can be exported worldwide, writes Lars Hvidtfeldt.

The water crisis is now

By 2025 half the world’s population will not have enough water to meet its needs, warns Rashad Kaldany, urging governments and the private sector to work on solutions, which he says, do exist.

World water markets: High investment requirements mixed with institutional risks

Over the next few decades, investment in water infrastructure as a whole will have to increase to satisfy growing demand – something that will require rapid, determined action by governments and financial cooperation with the private sector, write Eric Heymann of Deutsche Bank Research, Deirdre Lizio of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Markus Siehlow of the Dresden University of Technology in a June report.