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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Council adopts conclusions on the protection of water resources

The Environmental Council last week adopted conclusions on the protection of water resources and integrated sustainable water management, set out in 11308/11, and held an exchange of views on this topic. The protection of water resources is a priority of the Hungarian presidency. The Council conclusions recognise the numerous threats to water and express concern with the extreme hydrological events over the last years, which climate change is likely to aggravate. The conclusions stress that extreme weather events should be handled in an integrated way by policies dealing with land use and planning, agriculture, nature conservation and infrastructures. Moreover, the conclusions call for water concerns and objectives to be better integrated ("mainstreamed") into other EU policies, including into the forthcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. In particular, the future EU cohesion policy should adequately consider future water infrastructure needs. The text also underlines the economic value of services provided by water bodies and related ecosystems and highlights the need to protect water-related ecosystems. The conclusions and the exchange of views among ministers will provide input for the Commission's blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources, expected to be published mid-2012.

Source: Council of Ministers