European regulator teams up with Water Partnership

The European Environment Agency is joining forces with international think tank the European Water Partnership in an effort to build a continental strategy for sustainable water use and delivery.

The EWP is a not-for-profit member organisation which aims to give a voice to the European water industry and other stakeholders working in the sector.

The two bodies plan to develop a 'vision for sustainable water' that will outline future water use across the continent.

"To be truly effective and relevant, environmental policy must be developed together with the actors who will work with it," said Prof Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA's executive director.

"For the water area, this means involving those who actually use, distribute and treat water such as agriculture, water utilities, industries, the energy or transport sector.

"This cooperation with EWP and its partners is a crucial step for us in that direction."

As a part of its next "European Environment State and Outlook Report" (SOER) due to be released in late 2010, the EEA will present the priorities and problems in implementing the water vision, as well as the joint efforts environmental and non-environmental stakeholders are taking towards the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

The partnership will also work towards raising awareness and communicating the importance of water quality to the public.

The cooperation with EWP will promote such methods to wider audiences while encouraging both businesses and users to adopt them for greater transparency.

The final component will consist of improving water information management in Europe.

Currently, nearly all relevant information on policy implementation is brought together in Water Information System for Europe (WISE), a joint development of the EEA, the European Commission and Member States.

The cooperation with EWP will supply helpful information from water companies on water use and efficiency as well as sustainable solutions.

Sam Bond



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