Europeans Urge Stronger EU Action on Water Quality

Posted March 22nd, 2012 at 11:30 pm (UTC-5)
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A new public survey shows Europeans are urging the European Union to take stronger action in improving water quality among its 27 member countries. Nearly 70 percent of the 2,500 people surveyed this month say water-related problems are serious in the Europe.

A large majority of the responders cited chemical pollution as the biggest threat to water resources. The responders say the European Union should consider heavier fines for polluters.

EU Commissioner Janez Potocnik defended the progress in improving water quality, saying drinking and bathing water is much better than it was, and more towns and cities have proper treatment of waste water.

Potocnik also cited the return of salmon to many European rivers as a sign water quality has improved.

Those surveyed said measures to ensure the stability of water quality should be implemented, with special attention to the impact of industry, agriculture, overuse of water and droughts and floods.

The European Commission says the survey suggestions will be considered in the “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources” planned for November. The plan will identify areas of needed improvement and proposals for shaping EU water policy through 2020.

The European water concerns parallel some found in a U.S. government report on the impact of global water issues on United States security interests.

In part, the Intelligence Community Assessment report recommends that improved water management and investments in water-related sectors, such as agriculture, will afford the best solutions for water problems. The report says technology that reduces the amount of water needed to grow crops will offer the greatest potential for relief from water scarcity.