The European Commission will present in 2012 a “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources”. This initiative builds on a number of building blocks, namely
– A review of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), based on the information from the river basin management plans submitted by Member States in 2009
– A review of the policy of Water Scarcity and Droughts (WSD)
– An assessment of vulnerability of water resources to global change
The Blueprint has a twofold purpose:
– It will look back and assess the implementation and achievements of policies and measures in place to ensure the protection and availability of EU water resources, while identifying gaps and shortcomings.
– It will look forward at the evolving vulnerability of the water environment to assess the sufficiency of existing measures and tools, and evaluate potential new instruments to ensure a sustainable use of good quality water in the EU in the long term.
The building of water asset accounts (at river basin level), in particular water balances, the fast track implementation plan for physical ecosystem accounts in Europe and statistics on overall water use and uses by sector, will be a central methodological element to underpin the Impact Assessment of the Blueprint.
A co-ordinated and cost-efficient approach is being developed, mixing monitoring (e.g. from Global Monitoring for Environment and Security - GMES), reporting (as part of the legal obligation under the Water Framework Directive and other regulations), modelling (integrating hydrological, land-use and economic models) and statistics.
Keywords: Water Framework Directive; Reporting; European Union; Monitoring
Biography: Jacques Delsalle is leading the Knowledge Base team of the Water Unit in the European Commission, DG Environment. Economist by training, Jacques has been working on transport modelling, environmental impact assessment and climate change adaptation. He is co-ordinating the Impact Assessment of the forthcoming “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources” and related activities. In this context he is working with other Commission services, such as Eurostat and other institutions, in the joint development of a sounder knowledge base for the evaluation and design of water policies.