Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

  • European Commission
  • CORDIS
  • Publications
  • Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union [...] COM(2007) 414 final
FP7

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union [...] COM(2007) 414 final

Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT

Abstract

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union {SEC(2007) 993} {SEC(2007) 996} COM(2007) 414 final
Access to good quality water in sufficient quantity is fundamental to the daily lives of every human being and to most economic activities. But water scarcity and droughts have now emerged as a major challenge - and climate change is expected to make matters worse. This is a worldwide problem, and the European Union is not spared.
Over the past thirty years, droughts have dramatically increased in number and intensity in the EU. The number of areas and people affected by droughts went up by almost 20% between 1976 and 2006. One of the most widespread droughts occurred in 2003 when over 100 million people and a third of the EU territory were affected. The cost of the damage to the European economy was at least EUR 8.7 billion. The total cost of droughts over the past thirty years amounts to EUR 100 billion. The yearly average cost quadrupled over the same period.
While "drought" means a temporary decrease in water availability due for instance to rainfall deficiency, "water scarcity" means that water demand exceeds the water resources exploitable under sustainable conditions. At least 11% of the European population and 17% of its territory have been affected by water scarcity to date. Recent trends show a significant extension of water scarcity across Europe.
Water scarcity and droughts are therefore not just a matter for water managers. They have a direct impact on citizens and economic sectors which use and depend on water, such as agriculture, tourism, industry, energy and transport. In particular, hydropower which is a carbon neutral source of energy, heavily depends on water availability.

Download application/pdf (107492)

Record Number: 8687 / Last updated on: 2007-09-03
Category: COM DOCUMENT
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top