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File chemical/x-pdb 50 years of protecting Europe's environment
Today the European Union has the most environmentally friendly arsenal of rules in the world and has done more to tackle pressing ecological problems, such as climate change, than any other major power. But it has not always been like this. Caring for the environment did not feature in the Treaty of Rome, the document that gave birth to the modern day EU. Yet environmental problems were never far away. Europe’s love affair with the car was moving into top gear, industry was busy belching out pollutants and raw sewage was being pumped into our rivers and seas.
Located in Environmental topics Policy instruments Multimedia
File Getting Europe's precious waters clean again
Protecting water from pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges that we face. In recent decades, major disasters like the Sandoz incident in 1986 demonstrated that pollution knows no frontiers and that strong EU actions and cooperation were needed. This detailed news report looks at the ways in which Europe’s determination to protect water in all its forms is achieving results. From the European quality of the drinking water, through the treatment of waste water, to protection of its rivers, coasts and lakes – over the last few decades it has developed an effective legislative arsenal. The aim of the European Union is for all the water on its territory to by in good status by 2015. Although challenges remain, results are obvious. For example, in 2000, the EU adopted a directive promoting trans-boundary co-operation and introducing the river basin management concept where the territory of the river as a whole is taken into account. And in terms of bathing water, since 1990, the number of bathing sites fulfilling the EU standards has increased by almost 30% to an impressive 90%.
Located in Environmental topics Water Multimedia
Figure Number of days with water temperature higher than 23 oC in the river Rhine (Lobith, the Netherlands) 1909-2003
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Publication Regional climate change and adaptation — The Alps facing the challenge of changing water resources
Drawing on the most recent knowledge of climate change impacts in the Alps and experiences across the region, this report analyses the risks that climate change presents to the region's water supply and quality, identifying needs, constraints, opportunities, policy levers and options for adaptation. It extracts policy guidance on adaptation practice and aims to assist regional and local stakeholders in developing robust adaptation strategies. The focus of the report is on water resources and related adaptation, rather than water-related extreme events like floods, avalanches, landslides or mudflows, which are already well covered by existing studies of climate change impacts in the Alps.
Located in Publications
Highlight River Rhine commended for river basin management
The River Rhine has won the first ever International River Foundation (IRF) European River Prize, which is given for remarkable achievements in integrated river basin management. The other finalists were the Órbigo River in Spain, the Upper Drau in Austria, and the Mura-Drava-Danube in Central Europe.
Located in News
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