A New Ambiton for Water Resources in Europe
Global pressure is mounting around water resources. The World Economic Forum continues to rank water crises as one of the greatest threats to developing and developed states’ economies—let alone their population’s security. The alarm has been raised and Europe has received the message; the European Union must do its part to turn a crisis into an opportunity. This is the underlying message of a Commission that is curently reviewing its directive on drinking water as well as proposing a new regulation on water reuse. It is a message of positive nature though, one that is set against a fragile timeline. The issues are interdisciplinary in a way that they involve experts from a variety of fields coming together to propose cost-effective and sustainable solutions to the use and valuing of water resources across Europe. Not necessarily under a strict hierarchy, the European Union is committed to tackling drinking water quality, water management and infrastructure, energy generation and the water nexus, among others. The situation is as such: urban infrastructure is outdated or deteriorating, the current management tools are inefficient or even wasteful and water consumption in the energy sector, to name a critical area, undermines efforts to move to renewables. The strengthen this image, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates €10,3 trillion is required to invest solely in infrastructure to meet global water demands by 2030. The burden on European states is significant in light of ageing infrastructure and agricultural intensive economies—the solutions will require investment at a time when interest rates are low and consumption ever-growing.
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