Protecting Europe’s water resources: Water for life – LIFE for water

[tweetmeme The Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission has issued a publication addressing the challenges in protecting Europe’s water resources – ensuring their sustainable use, protection from pollution and waste, and continued availability in a changing climate.  The foreward to this publication, which summarises the activities of the LIFE programme in the water area, reads:

Since its launch in 1992, the European Commission’s LIFE Programme has generated a significant mass of knowledge concerning many different aspects of environmental activity. This information remains highly relevant as a learning resource for stakeholders throughout the EU and in neighbouring countries.

Making sure that there is enough water and it is of suitable quality is one of the biggest challenges facing society in the coming years. DG Environment’s thematic conference “Water for life – LIFE for water” proved to be an excellent opportunity to disseminate the results of projects supported by the LIFE Environment strand of the LIFE programme in order to facilitate the replication and exchange of good practices in water protection amongst relevant stakeholders. More than 150 delegates from across Europe attended the event, which took place on 14-15 October 2009 in Brussels, including LIFE project beneficiaries, national and international water authorities, NGOs and the media.

The main objective of the event was to examine the role of LIFE Environment as an instrument to support the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive alongside other EU water-related legislation and policies. The thematic sessions provided a platform for a discussion on, and a dissemination of the results of, some successful projects. This will allow us to find transferable outcomes from projects and to mainstream good practice for the future implementation of LIFE+.

The programme began with a plenary session examining the challenges in water policy. This was followed by thematic sessions addressing four key areas: adaptation to climate change – how can intelligent water resource management help fight water scarcity?; hydromorphological alterations – how can technical interventions in rivers be linked to ecological river restoration?; the Marine Strategy Framework Directive – how can proven collaborative governance techniques help in implementing the MSFD?; and eutrophication – how can diffuse sources of nutrients and remaining point sources be tackled effectively?

Finally, the closing plenary session brought together the lessons of the workshops and looked at potential ‘next steps’ in water policy. This publication aims to give a flavour of some of the insights gained at the conference.

Read the full publication here in PDF format.

Citation: Water for life – LIFE for water – Protecting Europe’s water resources, Directorate-General for the Environment, 2010, ISBN: 978-92-79-15238-2 ISSN: 1725-5619 DOI: 10.2779/22224

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