memorandum by Mr Marquet, Rapporteur
1. Are we facing a water shortage? A crucial question,
because without water no life is possible.
2. Our planet has an abundance of water and is sometimes even
threatened with an excess of it, as a result of the increasingly
marked trend towards global warming. But the risk of a water shortage
mainly concerns the quality of our drinking water, since only a
small proportion of our fresh water resources is really accessible.
In contrast to its image of a highly developed continent,
there are 41 million people in Europe who do not have access to
safe drinking water, while 85 million people lack access to basic
However, the Middle-East and North Africa region (MENA) is
by far the world's most impoverished area in terms of water, with
1% of the world's freshwater resources and 5% of the world's population.
The fact that 60% of the region's water-courses flow through several
countries makes water resource management all the more difficult.Note
5. Owing to climate change and increased demand for water, the
problems of water access and availability are an issue in both the
north and south of the Mediterranean Basin.
6. This is why it is now becoming urgent to change the arrangements
for managing our water resources and sanitation systems and secure
a new water culture that strikes a reasonable balance between economic, ecological
and social considerations.
stress: a reality
2.1 Major geographical
7. In the northwest of Europe – highly developed and
humid – water shortages are not really an issue and, accordingly,
the countries there focus on the environmental and ecological aspects
of water management.
8. Southern Europe has satisfactory water supply and sanitation,
although despite frequent droughts, often associated with falling
9. In the countries of central and eastern Europe, water supplies
are often intermittent and of poor-quality, and most of the infrastructure
is in a poor state.
10. In the Middle East and North Africa, drinking water supplies
are often patchy, and sanitation coverage is inadequate in some
countries. But the most alarming threat is the lack of renewable
water resources in relation to demand, likely to affect this region
in the immediate future.
11. Morocco, for example, is rapidly approaching a water crisis.
This in fact is the downside of the country's economic success.
The development of certain sectors of activity such as agriculture,
tourism and industry has greatly increased the demand for water,
to which should be added household consumption in a country that
is rapidly urbanising.
2.2 Deterioration of
12. Throughout Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, the
concentration of the population in coastal towns and the increase
in demand is resulting in water resources being over-exploited.
The levels of some groundwater tables are falling dramatically.
In the coastal areas, this is increasingly causing an inversion
of flow between mainland water and seawater, leading to an irreversible
salinisation of freshwater stocks.
13. Limited exchanges of water with the open sea render the region's
seas more vulnerable to pollution, which has increased considerably
since the 1970s. All these seas are polluted with heavy metals,
persistent organic pollutants, microbes and high levels of untreated
14. Agriculture is the prime cause of pollution in Europe and
the MENA region. Discharges of agricultural fertilisers containing,
among other things, organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus, are
responsible for the eutrophisation of numerous bodies of water.
Moreover, agriculture is the sector that consumes the most water; particularly
in Mediterranean countries.
15. In this context, the World Bank issued an alarming report
on the water situation in the Maghreb and the Middle East and has
urged the region's governments to introduce urgent policy reforms
to avoid serious water shortages in the future.
16. One example is Algeria, another major Maghreb country confronted
by this problem, where the government has started to use alternative
resources, including a vast sea water desalination programme that should
be operational throughout the country by the end of 2009.
2.3 Ever more frequent
floods and droughts
17. Climate change simulation models point not only to
the drying out of zones that are already arid but also to more frequent
and more severe extreme hydrological events (floods and droughts).
18. Since 1998, flooding has caused around 700 deaths in Europe,
the displacement of about half a million people and economic losses
to the tune of 25 billion euros.
19. Flooding can also have serious environmental consequences.
Sewage plants can be flooded, for example, as well as factories
containing large quantities of toxic chemical substances. It can
also destroy wetlands and decimate biodiversity.
20. Droughts have caused over 85 billion euros in losses in Europe
over the last 30 years, averaging 5.3 billion euros per annum between
1991 and 2006. In 2003 southern and western Europe was hit by an exceptionally
long, rain-free heat-wave, causing the death of thousands of people,
particularly among the elderly. On the southern shores of the Mediterranean,
there has been a sharp upward trend in the number of drought years
over the last 30 years.
2.4 Water is also an
21. It is also worth bearing in mind that water is a
significant source of renewable energy, whether from rivers, lakes,
waves, tides or sea currents.
22. For example, in the north of Scotland equipment has been installed
to supply electricity to small islands where it was previously lacking
and to fuel a sea water desalination plant.
23. Similarly, a British company plans to operate marine current
turbines (a form of underwater wind turbine), which use sea currents
like a boat propeller to generate electricity.
24. Water-based energy is clean and renewable and has the advantage
of not consuming water.
25. Water-based energy is free, but limited by however much water
is available in any particular country. While such energy is positive
for the environment, it may have major side effects when it requires
the construction of dams or artificial lagoons.
26. Water can also be a source of thermal energy, thanks to the
permanent heat of the earth's crust. Water from aquifers or deep
water tables of sedimentary basins is hot and can be used to heat
homes with the aid of pumping systems. This energy source is still
little used and should be looked at much more closely.
2.5 An example of mutual
assistance: transferring water by sea to Barcelona
27. A tanker containing 36 000 m3 of
drinking water docked at Barcelona on 21 May 2008. Over a period
of several weeks, around 25 000 m3 more
were shipped each day by sea from Marseille, Fos-sur-Mer and Tarragona
to the Catalan capital, which was suffering from scarcity of water
28. This emergency measure was prompted by a persistent drought
over the winter of 2007-2008, leading to an alarming drop in Catalonia's
water stocks. The urban district of Barcelona, with some 5 million
inhabitants in a geographical area lacking strongly flowing rivers,
faced the prospect of a water shortage by summer 2008, in the peak-season
for tourism, which would cause substantial economic losses.
29. The shipping of drinking water by sea, envisaged since January
2008, had already been undertaken in the 1980s from Marseille and
Fos-sur-Mer, in the direction of Spain, Algeria and Sardinia. Under
the latest scheme, six vessels chartered by the Marseille Water
Company and the Provence Canal Company were due to make deliveries
at a rate of 63 shipments a month. Barcelona should receive 1.66
million m3 of drinking water each month,
representing some 6% of the city's consumption, at a monthly cost
of 22 million euros.
30. This very expensive solution was seen only as a stop-gap measure,
pending the commissioning of a seawater desalinisation plant at
Llobregat, in the south of Barcelona, which will supply 200 000
m3 a day by the end of 2009.
31. It is true that transfers of this kind are an opportunity
for the supplier region to make better use of a resource in over-supply
in the interests of trade and economy, and to maintain international
solidarity. But they also prompt numerous backlashes from local
politicians, environmental protection associations and the public. Most
of the criticism is levelled at the lack of foresight of the Spanish
authorities which, instead of taking a firm approach to deal with
a structural water crisis, are over-exploiting freshwater stocks
for irrigated agriculture and tourism (golf courses, swimming pools,
32. The region's authorities has also envisaged ambitious projects
to secure water supplies from other basins that could entail the
building of a 330 km-long canal to bring water from the Rhône and
the laying of 62 km of piping to transfer water from the river Ebre,
to the south of Barcelona.
33. Integrated water resource management is a far better alternative.
It would enable to reduce the high level of losses from networks
and plan water resource allocation better, as the primary sector
takes 73% out of the system for a contribution to GDP of less than
2%. Controlling demand would be sufficient to prevent having to deploy
3 Europe's response:
an integrated approach at international level
3.1 Integrated Water
Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is a
concept that appeared in the wake of the international conferences
held in Dublin and Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Global Water Partnership
defines it as 'a process which promotes the coordinated development
and management of water, land and related resources in order to
maximise the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable
manner without compromising the sustainability of vital eco-systems'.Note
35. In Europe, it has its roots in the Hydrographical Confederations
set up by Spain in 1926, the Water Agencies created in France in
1964, the focus on maintaining water quality by the Water Committees
in the Netherlands in 1980, and the setting up of international
river commissions (such as the International Commission for the
Protection of the Rhine in 1950).
The natural unit of water resource management is the river
it is on the scale of this territory that management of all water
resources is pertinent, irrespective of the size or transfrontier
features of that area.
37. The first objective of IWRM is to maintain natural balances
where water is concerned, avoiding the drawing of excessive quantities
and pollution. At the level of the river basin, every water use
at a given point has an impact on a different use downstream. For
that reason, all the sectors (agriculture, industry, tourism, shipping,
etc.) that generate nuisances for water resources must give due
consideration to the impact of their development on those resources.
IWRM hinges on the economic accounting of all the respective impacts, passed
in an appropriate charging system.
38. The second objective of IWRM is to develop and control mobilisation
of the resource, while ensuring fair allocation between the different
users. For one thing, experience of drinking water supply and sanitation throughout
the world shows that infrastructure development can be made economically
viable only by the adoption of a cost recovery policy. Furthermore,
if demand for water is to be controlled, the true cost of the exploitation
of water resources and its environmental effects must be reflected
in the amount to be paid by the user. This makes it crucial to establish
a charging system that takes account of the volumes of water consumed and
ensures that the bulk of the charges are borne by the entities exploiting
39. Opting for an integrated approach raises numerous questions
as to which parties are to be involved in decision-making and how.
Integrated management can be successful only if all the players
concerned (elected representatives, operators, associations of users,
etc.) are informed and involved as far upstream as possible in development
projects or programmes and involved in the framing of policy.
3.2 Transboundary co-operation
40. Worldwide, states are under no obligation of cooperation
forcing them to jointly manage transboundary rivers or aquifers.
There are international conventions, negotiated on a case-by-case
basis, which are one solution to the problem.
Europe has 73 transfrontier river basins.Note
IWRM approach at the level
of a river basin necessarily requires the bringing together of countries
with part of their territory located in that area. Historically, numerous
agreements on transfrontier management of water resources have been
signed between European countries, examples being the efforts undertaken
to prevent flooding in the Rhine and Elbe basins.
42. The setting up of transboundary water resource management
usually encounters the difficulty of bringing together the main
players and striking a consensus, and the potential benefits of
co-operation frequently need emphasising. The political and cultural
context is crucial in this respect: geopolitical developments, national water
management policies etc. Backing from regional bodies such as the
European Union is important to overcome the obstacles.
3.3 Transboundary management
of the Danube Basin
43. On the eve of the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian
Empire was by far and away the main player in the Danube Basin,
but it was dismantled in 1918-1919 and new countries came into being.
After the Second World War most of those countries, except Germany
and Austria, became members of the Eastern bloc. With the collapse
of communism in 1989, the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were
dismembered, and the Danube Basin became the most international
basin in the world, with eighteen countries.
44. International co-operation began in 1856 with the Treaty of
Paris, which set up a European Commission for the Danube whose role
was to guarantee freedom of navigation on the river. Following the
Second World War, this notion of "free movement" was superseded
by one of "controlled navigation", through the Belgrade Convention
in 1948. Up to 1990, the riparian countries of the Danube fell into
either the eastern bloc or Western Europe, and their economic levels
were highly disparate, which is why bilateral agreements predominated during
that period. However, the Danube countries came together in 1986
around the Bucharest Declaration, which set objectives for improving
and monitoring water quality.
In 1991, following the major political upheavals in central
and eastern Europe, the Danube states met in Sofia to establish
the Environmental Programme for the Danube River Basin (EPDRB),
with the assistance of the international community and the European
Union in particular. This undertaking culminated in 1994 in the signing,
by all the riparian countries, of a Danube River Protection Convention
(DRCP), establishing a framework for integrated water resource management:
- sustainable and fair management
of water, giving due consideration to the preservation of resources;
- control of the risks of accidental pollution and extreme
- reduction of the pollution burden.
46. The convention was ratified in 1998 and the first meeting
of the International Commission (ICPDR) was held in Vienna in October.
The Commission's Joint Action Programme (JAP) defines the steps
to be taken over the period 2001-2005, to achieve the protection
objectives set by the Convention.
47. The most recent political development in the Danube Basin
has been the accession of several riparian countries to the European
3.4 The Water Framework
48. The current framework for water management in the
European Union is the result of a thirty year-old political process
and an ever more pressing demand from citizens to be able to benefit
from a good-quality environment that is safer in terms of public
health. The first wave of legislation came in the 1970s, with directives
laying down quality objectives related to use. The second phase,
in the 1990s, entailed combating the discharge of pollutants in
aquatic environments, prompting investments that made it possible
to significantly improve water quality.
In 2000 the European Union devised a new single working framework:
Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Directive establishing a framework
for Community action in the field of water policy. The aim of the 27
member states is to achieve good ecological status of waterNote
2015. This approach is also pursued by the associated and acceding
countries, accounting for some 10% of world population.
50. The WFD is an innovative response to the need for an integrated
approach. It takes the entire water cycle into account and seeks
to reconcile the needs of all water users. It sets result-oriented
objectives with the main emphasis on water quality and ecology.
It also caters for the need to tackle the problems of flooding and drought.
51. However, there have been difficulties in implementing the
WFD. Although the objectives it sets are acknowledged as being realistic,
achieving them is proving to be costly and a lengthier process than
expected in certain countries.
52. The principles of the WFD are universally applicable. They
do not, however, take account of the possible role of water as a
vector of social and economic development. The directive disregards
certain fundamental aspects of IWRM such as management of demand,
efficiency of water use, poverty and gender issues. Given the importance
it attaches to the ecological status of water and the high costs
it entails, the WFD may be regarded as a "good practice" suited
to the highly industrialised countries of Europe but could not be
exported in its present form to developing countries.
The fundamental principles of the WFD are:
- an approach based on river basins;
- the principles of precaution and preventive action;
- recovery of costs linked to water use;
- the "polluter pays" principle;
- decision-making at the level that is the closest possible
to the place of water use or allocation;
- a combined approach to control pollution at source;
- involvement of the public.
54. The WFD obliges member states to produce a management plan
for transfrontier basins and to pool resources in devising and applying
55. It introduces a socio-economic approach, requiring firstly
identification of the uses of water (leisure activities, drinking
water supplies, irrigation, industry, etc.) and evaluation of the
economic impact of those uses.
It requires a report to be presented, answering the following
3 questions at the level of the river basin:
- do current prices cover operational costs and service
- do polluters pay fines equivalent to the cost of the environmental
damage they cause?
- how are the costs apportioned between different economic
57. The directive includes a requirement of transparency (who
pays what and why?) but does not insist on total recovery of costs.
For social, economic and environmental reasons, it authorises the
maintaining of subsidy and financial transfer machinery.
58. The first management plans will be framed in 2009, and then
every 6 years after that.
59. The requirements of recovering costs and application
of the "polluter pays" principle may jeopardise the ability of some
users to pay. Solidarity mechanisms are generally set up at different
levels to spread or lighten the impact of infrastructure and operational
costs on users' bills.
60. At local level, water authorities usually apply the same tariff
to everyone in the zone they cover, so that individual users whose
water and sanitation services cost more than the average (because
their home is further away from the bulk of the community for example)
do not pay more than their neighbours. But distinctions are generally
drawn between domestic and professional uses, to ensure that the
large consumers (industry, agriculture, etc.) pay a higher cost
per cubic metre.
61. At national or regional level, charging systems may be set
up to harmonise costs between rural and urban areas, or between
towns with good infrastructures and those needing rehabilitation.
It is commonplace, for example, to apply discretionary levers to
water bills, depending on location, the volume consumed, etc.
At international level, the European Union has set up important
solidarity-oriented investment programmes in the new and future
These programmes provide
backing for water authorities in those countries to build infrastructures
enabling them to comply with European regulations. Official development
assistance (ODA), either bilateral or multilateral, is an additional
form of transfrontier solidarity.Note
63. Some devolved initiatives may also be a source of funding
for water projects, such as the twinning of towns in different countries
or European networks of local authorities such as the Council of
European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
4 Water in the Maghreb:
how is such a rare resource to be preserved?
4.1 The threat of water
64. The situation of the water sector is particularly
worrying in the Maghreb. Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are experiencing
water stress as a result of high population growth in the last 30
years, an improvement in the living standards of their inhabitants
and economic policies which have marginalised the water issue.
It is commonly accepted by hydrologists that countries with
renewable freshwater availability of less than 1700 m3 per
head of population per annum are likely to face episodic shortages
of that resource or even a chronic shortage if availability falls
below 1000 m3 per head of population
. Algeria and Tunisia face a serious threat,
with respective water availability of 800 and 480 m3 per
head of population per annum. And even if it has 1800 m3 of
renewable freshwater available per head of population per annum,Note
Morocco is at great risk of being affected
It is true that the Maghreb countries have made significant
progress in terms of access to water supply and sanitation, with
a mean coverage of 84% of the population for drinking water and
83% for sanitation.Note
But in the event of a chronic shortage
of water resources, the situation could regress.
The large volumes used for irrigation mean that agriculture
is the main consumer of water (80%), far ahead of domestic users
(14%) and industry (6%). These figures reflect inadequacy of drinking
water supplies to households and a distinct lagging behind in the
development of industry compared with highly developed countries.
But above all, they highlight the priority that must be given to
rationalising the use of water for irrigation which, alone, accounts
for the consumption of 38% of the region's entire renewable water resources.Note
4.2 Increasing supply,
68. With the threat of water stress looming, the countries
of the Maghreb have no other choice than to take the necessary measures
to increase the supply of water and reduce demand.
69. Although renewable freshwater availability is limited, there
are ways in which supply may be significantly increased.
70. The first way is to treat wastewater to a sufficient degree
for it to be reused in irrigation. For one thing, this is a resource
available in increasing quantities as a result of urban development,
tourism and industry. Furthermore, treated wastewater contains organic
compounds which cover the nutrient requirements of most crops, making
it possible to cut agricultural production costs linked to the use
71. Water supplies can also be increased by making use of brackish
water. Programmes to exploit this resource are already under way,
accompanied by a research effort aimed at reducing the risks of
damage to groundwater and soil linked to salinity.
72. Finally, desalinating seawater is a solution offering the
prospect of unlimited water resources. This technique is already
used in Algeria (17 million m3 in 2002),
Tunisia (13 million m3 in 2001) and Morocco (7 million
m3 in 2000), but the high amounts of
energy consumed make it very costly and therefore unsuitable as
an alternative to freshwater resources.
73. A number of measures that can however be taken to reduce demand
for water. In particular, better maintenance of drinking water supply
networks would make it possible to substantially reduce the amount
of water lost through leakage. Charging systems should be revised
to encourage users to save water. Awareness-raising campaigns can
further drive home the message of user responsibility. Finally,
optimising drainage systems would bring about a significant reduction
in the amounts drawn off by agriculture.
4.3 The need for international
74. Preserving water resources in the Maghreb necessitates
the implementation of programmes at the level of the region.
75. Soils in the Maghreb are subject to heavy erosion, particularly
when rainfall follows long periods of drought. This soil erosion
has grave consequences for the state of water resources: silting
of ponded water, disappearance of fertile layers of soil, insufficient
recharging of groundwater. The Maghreb countries must therefore
introduce a strategic plan to preserve soil and water resources,
whose main components would be the reforestation of certain zones,
installation of new pondage areas, recharging of water tables and identification
of zones suitable for the drawing or dispersal of water.
76. Strategic restructuring of the irrigation sector could result
in optimal allocation of water resources, particularly by favouring
high added-value crops, which consume the least water. The experience
of the Maghreb shows that privatising the sector, or at least increasing
the organisational and financial autonomy of its public authorities,
naturally leads to more profitable and more economic use of water.
In addition, users can be involved in developing and maintaining
their irrigation networks, through the setting up of associations
77. In the Maghreb countries, the water sector is organised in
such a way that each type of water use (irrigation, drinking water,
sanitation) is managed by a central office following strict rules,
functioning independently from other offices and attaching very
little concern to the profitability of their activity. As each of these
sub-sectors are fragmented between independent public monopolies
and public authorities pursuing social and political objectives,
water sector management is flawed and characterised by substantial
over-employment. It would be extremely beneficial to restructure
this sector on a decentralised basis, with water services managed
at local level by autonomous public authorities or private enterprises.
78. Finally, the Maghreb countries will have to pool their research
efforts so that, together, they can develop technological and strategic
solutions commensurate with their water resource management problems.
79. All these recommendations call for integrated water resource
management. Efforts to find solutions to the problems of the Maghreb
countries in terms of water stress and access to water services
can therefore draw inspiration from the European international cooperation
approach, while benefiting from European Union support.
5 Possible solutions
5.1 Sanitation, a necessity
80. The uncontrolled discharge of municipal wastewater
(including industrial effluent and polluted rainwater) impacts on
the health of many people and generates heavy economic losses. This
practice damages water ecosystems and pollutes the oceans, causing
contamination of water supplies and resources. This results in fish
dying on a mass scale and a decline in tourism and encourages waterborne
and food-contained illnesses, which means loss of income and increases
in the costs of health and wastewater treatment.
81. Even today, Europe treats less than 50% of the pollution in
its urban wastewater.
82. In the south of the Mediterranean Basin, substantial efforts
have been made to make water services available to a large part
of the population. This has led to a substantial increase in the
problems of water quality linked to discharge of wastewater.
83. In 1991 the European Union adopted the Urban Wastewater Treatment
Directive, encouraging national governments, local authorities and
industries to attach greater importance to reducing pollution. This
directive, focused on performance, decrees that all built-up areas
with more than 2,000 inhabitants must have a wastewater treatment
system and that, before 2005, all urban wastewater discharged in
areas under threat from eutrophisation must be purged of any nitrogen
84. The directive also calls for progress in sanitation technologies
and practices, including improved integration of treatment plants
in the environment, better control of run-off water pollution and
improvement of existing networks and flood management.
85. The cost of applying this directive was estimated at 12 billion
euros of investment finance for the 12 member states. These investment
costs are high and the member states are experiencing difficulties
in funding them. The European Commission has brought numerous court
actions against countries which have failed to attain the objectives
set by the Directive: Belgium, Greece, France, Spain and Sweden.
86. In the MENA region, investments in the sanitation sector are
generally lagging behind the drinking water supply sector by ten
years or so. Public finances are already over-burdened by drinking
water provision to be able to fund adequate investment in the collection
and treatment of wastewater.
87. In many countries of the Europe and Mediterranean Basin zone,
sanitation services are billed at inadequate rates to cover the
investments required to preserve the environment and maintain water
quality. Experience shows that it is difficult to raise those rates,
as users are far less inclined to pay for these services than for
88. It is true that sanitation is costly, as we have indicated
above. But the cost of a lack of sanitation is actually far higher.
89. Since 1991, capital investment in the controlling of pollution
of urban wastewater in the EU has brought considerable benefits
for health, tourism and the rehabilitation of water resources. The
work carried out has also created jobs, particularly within the
service departments and enterprises that have been developed to operate
the new infrastructures.
5.2 Good management:
90. It is essential to adopt a holistic approach to the
management of water as a scarce and vulnerable resource and to incorporate
sectoral water plans and programmes into general economic and social
91. In Europe, economic activity has led to a substantial rise
in the demand for water, while deforestation has increased the frequency
and strength of storms, resulting in more frequent flooding and
92. We must also underline the significant role played by mountains.
Mountain ranges are areas of intense erosion and rapid concentrations
of water, leading to rising water levels and flooding, with disastrous consequences
in the neighbouring plains.
93. For several years, freshwater management has been a major
issue, in which a great deal is at stake.
94. Governments therefore need to adopt a co-ordinated approach
by developing co-operative arrangements that take account of the
various elements of a viable strategy.
95. Intelligent use and coherent management of water are essential
if, in the near future, we are to secure universal access to a resource
that is vital for humankind.
96. We must therefore act swiftly to achieve a reasonable balance
between supply and demand. This calls for suitable infrastructure
to permit the optimum use of water and legislation.
97. Every country should have legislation on the sound management
of water resources.
98. Water is the great challenge of our century. Without
clean water, human beings have no choice but to die of hunger, thirst
or sickness, or else abandon their homes. Access to clean water
offers everyone the opportunity to live in dignity.
99. Although three-quarters of our planet is under water, drinking
water is in short supply. The very survival of humanity is therefore
100. In this connection, the Parliamentary Assembly refers also
to the commitments entered into by the heads of state and government
of the Council of Europe member states in Warsaw on 17 May 2005
to fulfil "everyone's entitlement to live in a balanced, healthy
environment" and to improve "the quality of life for citizens" by
developing integrated policies in the environment field "in a sustainable
101. Recognising access to water as a fundamental human right could
therefore be a valuable means of ensuring universal access to an
adequate supply of water.
102. To do this it is essential to establish a genuine culture
of and international solidarity towards water.
In conclusion, the Parliamentary Assembly recommends that
member and non-member states of the Council of Europe:
- take steps to ensure that every
citizen has access to water and sanitation facilities;
- support and develop research programmes leading to the
establishment of water resources databases;
- improve or, if they have not already done so, introduce
the governance of water resources and draw up programmes for their
- establish an information network on the management of
water resources, which would also make it possible to gather information
on the various activities being undertaken throughout the world;
- decentralise water management systems to make them the
responsibility of local and regional authorities, and give the latter
the necessary legal powers and financial resources;
- set up information and prevention campaigns, aimed at
the general public and, above all, young persons;
- involve users as far as possible by increasing their sense
- take steps to make water sanitation techniques more generally
- take steps to improve sewage treatment and study the impact
of sewage on the marine environment;
- examine the possibilities of using land after desalination;
- examine ways of making better use of water as a hydraulic
and thermal energy source;
- pay closer attention to the role of water in conflicts;
- examine the consequences of climate change on water.
104. The Parliamentary Assembly also recommends that the Congress
of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ask local
authorities to undertake a strict assessment of the water needs
of their area and take necessary steps to introduce good practice
guides in this area.
Reporting committee: Committee
on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs
Reference to committee: Doc.
11582, Reference No. 3448 of 29 May 2008
Draft resolution adopted
unanimously by the committee on 4 September 2009
Members of the Committee:
Mr Alan Meale (Chairman), Mrs Maria Manuela de Melo (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mr Juha Korkeaoja (2nd Vice-Chairman),
Mr Cezar Florin Preda (3rd Vice-Chairman), Mr Remigijus Ačas, Mr Ruhi Açikgöz, Mr Artsruni Aghajanyan, Mr Miloš Aligrudić,
Mr Alejandro Alonso Nùñez (alternate: Mr Gabino Puche Rodriguez Acosta), Mr Gerolf Annemans, Mr Miguel Arias Cañete,
Mr Alexander Babakov, Mr Ivan Brajović, Mrs Elvira Cortajarena Iturrioz, Mr Veleriu
Cosarciuc, Mr Vladimiro Crisafulli, Mr Taulant Dedja, Mr Hubert Deittert, Mr Karl Donabauer, Mr
Miljenko Dorić, Mr Gianpaolo
Dozzo, Mr Tomasz Dudziński,
Mr József Ékes, Mr Savo Erić, Mr Bill Etherington,
Mr Nigel Evans, Mr Joseph Falzon, Mr Relu Fenechiu, Mr Zahari
Georgiev, Mr Peter Götz, Mr Rafael Huseynov,
Mr Jean Huss, Mr Fazail Ibrahimli, Mr Ivan Ivanov, Mr Igor Ivanovski, Mr Bjørn Jacobsen, Mrs
Danuta Jazłowiecka, Mr Birkir Jon Jonsson, Mr Stanisław Kalemba,
Mr Guiorgui Kandelaki, Mr Haluk Koç,
Mr Bojan Kostres, Mr Pavol Kubovic, Mr Paul Lempens, Mr Anastosios
Liaskos, Mr François Loncle, Mr Aleksei Lotman, Mrs Kerstin Lundgren
(alternate: Mr Kent Olsson),
Mr Theo Maissen, Mrs Christine Marin,
Mr Yevhen Marmazov, Mr Bernard Marquet, Mr José Mendes Bota, Mr Peter Mitterrer,
Mr Pier Marino Mularoni, Mr Adrian Năstase, Mr Pasquale Nessa, Mr Tomislav
Nikolić, Mrs Carina Ohlsson, Mr Joe O’Reilly,
Mr Germinal Peiro (alternate: Mr Alain Cousin),
Mr Ivan Popescu, Mr René Rouquet,
Mrs Anta Rugāte, Mr Giacento Russo, Mr Fidias Sarikas, Mr Leander Schädler,
Mr Herman Scheer, Mr Mykola Shershun, Mr Hans Kristian Skibby, Mr
Ladislav Skopal, Mr Rainder Steenblock,
Mr Valerij Sudarenkov, Mr
Laszlo Szakacs, Mr Vyacheslav Timchenko, Mr Bruno Tobback (alternate:
Mr Daniel Ducarme), Mr Dragan
Todorovic, Mr Nikolay Tulaev, Mr Tomas Ulehla,
Mr Mustafa Ünal, Mr Peter Verlič, Mr Rudolf Vis,
Mr Harm Evert Waalkens, Mr Hansjörg Walter, Mrs Roudoula Zissi
N.B.: The names of those members present at the meeting are
printed in bold.
Secretariat to the Committee: Mrs Agnès Nollinger, Mr Bogdan
Torcătoriu and Mrs Dana Karanjac