The UK is currently facing a drought and hosepipe bans in many parts of the country. So it will come as no surprise to hear that a report out today calls on Europe in general needs to use water more efficiently or risk undermining its economy.
The report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) warns that inefficient water use hits resources needed by ecosystems and people.
Agriculture, energy production, industry, the public and ecosystems are all competing for a limited resource, says EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade, and the issues will only be exacerbated by climate change.
“Water resources are under pressure in many parts of Europe, and it is getting worse,” she says.
As supply becomes more unpredictable, as it has done in recent years in the UK, water efficiency is becoming increasingly important.
The report calls on authorities to set clear environmental targets for water use, depending on the available resources.
Increasing economic productivity should also be ‘decoupled’ so that it doesn’t automatically mean increasing water use.
The EEA says it will continue to highlight the issue ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s ‘Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s waters’ later this year.
“Water resources should be managed as effectively as any other natural asset owned by countries,” says McGlade.
For further information:
Efficient hot water boilers could save UK organisations £400 million a year (1-Mar)
Ford’s ‘green’ manufacturing plan cuts water use by 30% (1-Feb)
Efficient water heating could save US consumers $18 billion (19-Oct)
15 March 2012