The 2000 Water Framework Directive (WFD) put forward an integrated approach for EU water policy, centered on the concept of river basin management. The WFD aims to achieve good status of all EU waters by 2015.
However, as pointed out by the European Environment Agency's 2010 State of the Environment Report, the achievement of EU water policy goals appears uncertain due to a number of anticipated and emerging challenges.
The Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resourcesis a Communication by the European Commission, to be published in November 2012, that will present an EU policy response to these challenges.
The long-term objective of the Blueprint is to ensure the sustainability of all activities that impact water thereby securing the availability of good-quality water for sustainable and equitable water use. The Blueprint will encourage a move towards what is called ‘prevention and preparedness’. This approach tries to ensure a sustainable balance between water demand and supply, taking into account the needs of both people and the natural ecosystems we depend on.
The Blueprint time horizon is closely related to the EU 2020 Strategy and, in particular, to the 2011 Resource Efficiency Roadmap. The Blueprint is the water milestone on that Roadmap. However, the analysis underpinning the Blueprint covers a longer time span, up to 2050, and is expected to drive EU water policy over the long term.
The Blueprint’s policy recommendations will be based on the results of the following assessments:
1. Analysis of WFD river basin management plans developed by the Member States, giving information on how they have improved their water management.
2. Review of the EU policy on Water Scarcity and Drought, including water efficiency measures.
3. Assessment of the vulnerability of water resources to climate change and other man-made pressures such as urbanisation and land use.
4. Outcome of the Fitness Check of EU freshwater policy, including a gap analysis to assess the adequacy of the current framework.
The results of these assessments, together with other studies conducted by or on behalf of the European Commission, all underpin the Blueprint proposals.
The EU Water Blueprint Conference aims to serve as a platform for consultation and debate between stakeholders, Member States and the European Commission on the implementation of the policy proposals of the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources.
It is jointly organised by the European Commission and the Cyprus Presidency on 26–27 November 2012 in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Fotolia© Justin Huchings
The sessions of the conference will include presentations on the main themes of the Blueprint, moderated panel discussions and engaging discussions with the audience. A live webcast will be available on the conference website.
The EU Water Blueprint Conference will accommodate a maximum 250 participants and is organized on an invitation only basis.
Ecologic Institute is engaged in a support contract with the European Commission for the organisation of this event.