Water features highly in a new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change aimed at shifting the focus from examining the problem to implementing solutions.
Identifying the availability and sustainability of freshwater as “fundamental for climate resilience”, the Commission is seeking to prioritise transformational changes in all sectors through enhanced engagement of the Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the Water Framework and Floods Directives and is pushing hard for nature-based solutions and cross-border cooperation.
The strategy, announced in February, also recognises the need to sharply reduce water use through wider use of drought management plans, measures to increase the water retention capacity of soils and safe water use. It calls on member states to promote the transition to water-saving technologies and practices by setting a price that correctly reflects the value of water.
Turning its attention to water quality, the strategy states the Commission’s intention to help guarantee a stable and secure supply of drinking water through risk analyses, the development of water-monitoring technologies and ensuring minimum river flow.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that insufficient preparation can have dire consequences. There is no vaccine against the climate crisis, but we can still fight it and prepare for its unavoidable effects. The impacts of climate change are already felt both inside and outside the European Union. The new climate adaptation strategy equips us to speed up and deepen preparations. If we get ready today, we can still build a climate-resilient tomorrow.”