The EU Water Blueprint: Assessing the policy options

The Commission’s Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources sets out a strategy to address the future challenges water management faces. IEEP led a major study to support the Blueprint, identifying the key problems that need to be addressed and assessing possible policy options to move forward on each problem.

The analysis found limited scope for amending or introducing legislation, with exceptions such as a possible new Regulation on quality standards for water re-use. Better targeting of EU funds would contribute in a number of areas. However, improved guidance, methods, information systems, and data exchange were found to be the most appropriate types of instruments to address many of the problems.

The problems centre around the following: water pricing; metering of water use; global issues; land use practices; water efficiency of appliances and buildings; leakage of water from distribution systems; re-use of water; water governance; drought management; determining water balances and target setting; assessing costs and benefits; and the knowledge base to support effective decision making.

The Commission published its Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources on 14 November 2012.

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