To feed both into the preparations of the European Commission for its Blueprint to Safeguard European Waters, due in 2012, as well as into the Council Conclusions on sustainable water management of 21 June 2011. To reinforce cooperation with the EU presidencies.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- calls for EU policy guidelines to be strengthened and new EU regulatory instruments to be adopted that set out clear, precise efficiency targets for each water dependent area of activity, to be defined at river-basin level by each Member State;
- asks for the Commission's Water Efficiency in Building initiative to be integrated with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, whilst leaving the possibility to target selectively geographical areas with water shortages;
- calls for legislation which defines uniform, Europe-wide levels of quality which will ensure appropriate recovery and reuse of water resources for each different sector of activity, while taking account the different characteristics of the Member States;
- urges regional and local authorities to see conscious risk management as the most effective instrument to respond to extreme events. Future investments aimed at curbing their effects should be channelled primarily into building green infrastructure;
- highlights the pivotal role regional and local authorities have in collecting environmental data and proposes that the current European Drought Observatory be converted into a European water observatory;
- proposes, not least in relation to the requirements ensuing from implementation of Directive 2000/60/EC, that sustainable water management should have a specific, verifiable target for 2020: 1) a 20% increase in water-saving in all sectors of use; 2) a 20% increase in the number of water courses being renaturalised, inter alia in order to reduce flood risk; 3) a 20% increase in the volume of water re-used and/or recycled in farming and industry; to that end, calls for direct involvement of the Covenant of Mayors.