The European Economic and Social Committee has released its opinion on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources.
The section voted on 12 June and the plenary has just taken place.
On irrigation it calls for the identification of illegal abstraction of water because”In many parts of Europe over-abstraction for irrigation makes it impossible to achieve good water status. Illegal abstraction is a serious problem in some water-stressed regions. ” It calls for coordination between water policy and CAP in particular ” Funding in CAP pillar 2 for improved efficient irrigation systems (with environmental conditionality attached, e.g. metering)”.
The EESC notes that a few studies on efficient use of water have been published under the concept of “more crop per drop.” The findings of these works could be used for bridging the needs of agriculture and available water resources in water-stressed regions. Again, the proportionality principle should be applied in tackling such sensitive issues, the EESC underlines.
Water efficiency: according to EESC , filling gaps in the existing framework focuses rightly on enhancing water use efficiency, however (Water Management) the EESC is concerned to note that the Commission is not proposing enough innovative measures to improve the effectiveness of water management. Demand is expected to outstrip supply by up to 40% by 2030, which means that shortages will affect the majority of Member States.