New EU water policies 'urgently needed' in light of climate change, says JRC

March 23, 2005

Brussels, 22 Mar 2005

To mark the international observance of World Water Day on 22 March, the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a new report entitled 'climate change and the European water dimension'.

Co-authored by more than 40 leading scientists from the JRC and other institutions in Europe, the report will be used to make an assessment of existing water policies within the EU and determine whether they can adapt to the impact of real or anticipated climate change.

The report documents alterations in the biological, chemical and physical characteristics of European water bodies. According to a Commission statement accompanying the report: '[S]mall variations in climate, leading to sea level rises of 1-2 millimetres per year, are having strong effects on aquatic ecology, intensifying coastal erosion, affecting nutrient and sediment transport, and resulting in a redistribution and loss of marine organisms.'

The authors predict that incidences of weather-driven natural hazards in Europe will increase, and that continued climate change will present challenges to water resources and policy makers alike.

In response, the report highlights the 'urgent need' for a new approach to the problem, particularly through the application of new climate change scenarios, to predict the impact on land and water systems at local level and assess effective mitigation strategies and their associated costs.

To read the full report, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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