EEA Releases Reports on Water in a Changing Environment

15 July 2011: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released a report on hazardous substances emitted into fresh and marine waters, noting climate change impacts, and another report on climate change impacts on water services and health.

The first report, titled "Hazardous substances in Europe's fresh and marine waters: An overview," points to ‘emerging pollutants,' for which awareness of potential effects has only emerged recently and scientific understanding may still be incomplete. In the absence of appropriately strong measures, the report notes that climate change is likely to adversely affect chemical water quality over the coming decades. More intense rainfall, for example, is predicted to increase the flushing of hazardous substances from both urban and agricultural land. The report concludes that to reduce hazardous substances in water, a more sustainable production and use of chemicals should be applied both in Europe and beyond.

The second report, titled "Safe water and healthy water services in a changing environment," summarizes existing knowledge of climate change impacts on water services and health, the nature and effectiveness of the policy response, and the coverage and gaps in existing assessments of these themes. According to the report, drinking water supplies and sanitation systems will have to be made resilient to climate change, and drinking water and sanitation must be fully incorporated in integrated water resource management. [Publication: Hazardous Substances in Europe's Fresh and Marine Waters: An Overview] [Publication: Safe Water and Health Water Services in a Changing Environment]