Europe’s rules on protecting our water are working – and this is why we should stick with them.
There has never been a greater need for us to protect and restore our freshwater resources in Europe.
We need freshwater to survive. Yet 60% of the EU’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands are not healthy enough to support people and nature.
According to the World Resources Institute, half the world’s population is now at risk from water scarcity and pollution. And in the future, floods, forest fires and water stress are set to get worse. Since 1970, there has been an alarming 83% fall in animal species that live in freshwater, demonstrating the huge pressure on our ecosystems and the need to support them.
We want to see this Directive kept intact and fully implemented and enforced, as called for by numerous environmental groups through the #ProtectWater campaign.
This EU wide law is vital. It sets a much-needed deadline for us to protect and restore Europe’s freshwater ecosystems by 2027.
It has set out clear rules for the protection of promotion of sustainable water management for both, surface water and groundwater.
It has also provided a stable regulatory framework that improves governance, not just for business, but for all those that depend on clean water and need the social and environmental stability that healthy rivers provide. As Europe struggles with the current unprecedented threat from COVID19, this stability is vital. Now is not the time to re-open or revise the Directive.
The Directive has also encouraged businesses to mobilise and take collective action to improve our river basins, as well as promoting public and stakeholder engagement in water management.
This has already led to real improvements, as has the collection of data on the condition of our river basins in Europe, which helps companies to better plan and scope their activities.
In fact, other countries outside of Europe, including India and China, have been so inspired by the governance model provided by this Directive, they have adopted similar principles when drafting their own legislation.
To maintain its credibility globally, the EU cannot and must not change the current legal requirements of the Water Framework Directive. The rules are working and we should stick with them.
Please see the statement that has been signed attached to the right hand side of this page.