EU Green Week 2012 Focuses on the Water Challenge

25 May 2012: The 2012 edition of EU Green Week focused on the theme “The Water Challenge – Every Drop Counts” to examine solutions to water problems, such as safeguarding the availability of good quality water in the face of population growth and climate change. 

The Week brought together 3000 stakeholder, NGO and government participants from 22-25 May 2012, in Brussels, Belgium. The event also included the presentation of the European Business Awards for the Environment and the 3rd European Water Conference. The outcomes of the Week are expected to contribute the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, which is to be released in November 2012, with the goal of promoting good quality water for the purpose of sustainable and equitable water use.

The Conference included sessions on: the status of Europe's water and challenges for water policy; “unlocking” the most promising measures; economic incentives for a more efficient water resources management; governance system and knowledge base; innovation and global aspects; and the future of EU Water Policy. European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik identified river basin level water efficiency targets as a tool for including water efficiency objectives into sectoral policies, and noted the importance of pricing ecosystem services.

During his closing remarks to a joint session of the Conference and the Green Week, Potočnik underscored that rising water demand and the impacts of climate change are expected to increase the pressure on Europe's water resources. He called for implementing the Water Framework Directive and restoring green infrastructure, such as flood plains, wetlands and forests. [European Commission Press Release] [European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik's Remarks] [EU Green Week 2012 Website]