In 2000, all the challenges of the waters of the European Union were discussed for the first time. The result – water management is much more than just supplying water and cleaning it. It includes land use and land management that affect water quality and quantity; requires coordination with the spatial planning of the Member States and inclusion in funding priorities.
The main causes of negative impacts on the state of water:
- Climate change
- land use
- economic activities such as energy production, industry, agriculture and tourism; urban development and demographic changes.
The consequences of these are pollutant emissions, excessive water consumption (water shortage), physical changes to water bodies, and extreme phenomena such as floods and droughts, which will increase if appropriate measures are not taken. As a result, the ecological and chemical state of EU waters is at risk, several parts of the EU are at risk of water shortages, and the water ecosystems on whose services our societies depend on could become more vulnerable to extreme events such as floods and droughts. To preserve our basic resources for life, nature and economy and to protect human health, addressing these challenges is essential (eur-lex.europa.eu, 2012).