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Tender for a gap analysis for water scarcity and droughts in the EU

The European Commission has issued a tender for a gap analysis for water scarcity and droughts in the EU. The balance between water demand and availability has reached a critical level in many areas of Europe (water scarcity). In addition, more and more areas are adversely a...

The European Commission has issued a tender for a gap analysis for water scarcity and droughts in the EU. The balance between water demand and availability has reached a critical level in many areas of Europe (water scarcity). In addition, more and more areas are adversely affected by changes in the hydrological cycle and precipitation patterns (increasing aridity and frequency of droughts). Climate change will almost certainly exacerbate these adverse impacts in the future, with more frequent and severe droughts expected across Europe and the neighbouring countries. Over the past 30 years, droughts have dramatically increased in number and intensity in the EU. It is estimated that the number of areas and people affected by droughts went up by almost 20% between 1976 and 2006 and that at least 11% of the European population and 17% of EU territory have been affected by water scarcity to date. Reduced water availability has a direct negative impact on citizens and economic sectors such as agriculture, tourism, industry, energy and transport, and may affect competitiveness and the internal market. Water scarcity and droughts also have broader impacts on the environment at large through negative side-effects on biodiversity, water quality, increased risk of forest fires and soil impoverishment. In 2007 the European Commission addressed these challenges in the Communication on Water Scarcity and Droughts in the European Union. The document laid down a water hierarchy under which water demand management should come first, and alternative supply options should only be considered once the potential for water savings and efficiency has been exhausted. The objective of this study will be to synthesise knowledge on water scarcity and droughts in the EU from existing and on-going studies, research activities, data collection by European agencies, experiences with the Communication document and ongoing stakeholder activities. The assessment is intended to be used as the basis for a Commission impact assessment of the water scarcity and droughts policy review planned for 2012.For further information, please contact: European Commission Directorate-General for the Environment ENV.SRD.2 - Finance attention: Markets Team BU-5 00/122 1049 Brussels Belgium E-mail: env-tenders@ec.europa.eu To see the full details of the call, please consult: OJ No S157 of 14 August 2010