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  • Call for Evidence on the economic benefits of EU water policy
    The Commission is looking for empirical evidence, studies and concrete feedback on the economic benefits of EU water policy and the costs of non-implementation with a view to launching an open call for tenders for contracting a study, which aims at generating new and solid economic arguments to promote effective protection and efficient use of water resources for the well-being of European nature and citizens. Please click here for further information and to participate in the survey.It will be open until 11 March 2016.
  • Infographics

  • 13/01/2016: EIP Water News edition January 2016 out now! 
    European Innovation Partnership on Water: Read about our call for applications for our renewed Steering Group. "pipe-in-a-pipe"solutions, an update of the 3rd EIP Water Conference on "How is water innovation succeeding in Europe?"and whom and how to meet participants of your choice in this 27th edition of the EIP Water News. Join over 4,100 readers by subscribing here for monthly EIP Water Newsletters or find ideas and solutions at our Marketplace, one of the world’s largest free databases on water & innovation.
  • EIP Water Steering Group Renewal - Public Call for Expression of Interests
    The European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water) has entered into its second phase, focusing on the delivery of impacts in fostering the uptake of innovations to address the key water challenges. In order to form the renewed Steering Group for the next three years, EIP Water is making a public call for Expressions of Interest, to involve additional members to those that remain involved since the first phase. If you occupy an executive level in a relevant organisation and have the ambition to further increase EIP Water’s impact, please find further information and apply by 31 January 2016.
  • 02/12/2015: The Commission published an Action Plan for Water Reuse within the circular economy
    Several actions will be developed in the coming years to promote a further uptake of water reuse in the EU.
    Read more about the action plan for water reuse...
  • 25/11/2015: New Horizon 2020 calls on water and nature-based solutions
    The European Commission will invest almost €16 billion in research and innovation in the next two years under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation funding scheme, following a new Work Programme for 2016-17.
    This includes calls for proposals around the subject of Water and Nature Based Solutions.
    The new Work Programme 2016-17 offers funding opportunities through a range of calls for proposals, public procurements and other actions like the Horizon Prizes, together covering nearly 600 topics. The programme’s structure is a reflection of the overall flexibility of Horizon 2020 which focuses on the EU’s long-term priorities and the most pressing societal challenges while allowing it to swiftly address emerging problems such as outbreaks of diseases.


News Archive

Water is life ! It is a precondition for human, animal and plant life as well as an indispensable resource for the economy. Water also plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle.

Protection of water resources, of fresh and salt water ecosystems and of the water we drink and bathe in is therefore one of the cornerstones of environmental protection in Europe. The stakes are high, the issues transcend national boundaries, and concerted action at the level of the EU is necessary to ensure effective protection.

A  Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources - the Commission adopts a new strategy to reinforce water management!

 The Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources is the EU policy response to old and emerging challenges on our water resources. It  aims at ensuring good quality water in sufficient quantities for all legitimate uses. Its three pillars are :

The Blueprint Communication

The 3rd Implementation Report on the Water Framework Directive - River Basin Management Plans

A review of the Strategy on Water Scarcity and Droughts

cover cover cover

It is also based on an evaluation of the implementation and achievements of the current EU water policy, including a Fitness Check of EU water policy in the framework of the Commission Smart Regulation approach. The European Innovation Partnership is a key building block.

Read more about the Blueprint...

Commission Communication on the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water adopted

The European Commission has launched a European Innovation Partnership on Water with the aim to support and facilitate the development of innovative solutions to water related challenges and to create market opportunities by doing so.

The EIP on Water will bring together all relevant stakeholders to identify the priority areas for action, to identify barriers to innovation and to propose solutions to break down these barriers. The EIP on Water will take a problem oriented approach and will make use of the various existing European, national and regional initiatives.

For more information about the EIP on Water, please look at our dedicated website.

Water Framework Directive (WFD): The Commission’s assessment of the 1st River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) for 2009-2015 is available here!

Click here for RBMP status
Click here for progress on implementation in each  Member State

The 1st River Basin Management Plans should have been available for all River Basin Districts across the EU by 22.12.2009. The Commission has now assessed the plans reported. Read more here about the 3rd WFD Implementation report, which covers those River Basin Management Plans.

There are still serious delays in the adoption of plans in a handful of EU Member States.  Consultations are now also starting on the second cycle River Basin Management Plans (2015-2021). A six-month consultation on the work programme for developing the 2nd RBMPs should start at the latest on 22.12.2012.  The preparation of the 1st Flood Risk Management Plans must be coordinated  appropriately with this WFD process. Read more here about consultations on the draft 2nd River Basin Management Plans.

Water Scarcity and Droughts – the European Union is taking action!

scarcityWhile Europe is largely considered as having adequate water resources, water scarcity and drought is an increasingly frequent and widespread phenomenon in the European Union.

The main overall objective of EU water policy is to ensure access to good quality water in sufficient quantity for all Europeans, and to ensure the good status of all water bodies across Europe.

Read more about EU action on water scarcity and drought.


Flood Risk Management – read more about the Floods Directive!

EU Member States are obliged to carry out a preliminary assessment of flood risk to identify areas of potential flood risk, to establish and publish flood hazard and risk maps and to develop and implement Flood Risk Management Plans to reduce flood risk.

Read more about the EU Floods Directive.


River basin management in a changing climate - a Guidance document

dropOn 30 November 2009, Water Directors of EU Member States issued a guidance document on adaptation to climate change in water management. The document is the first result of numerous actions included in the European Commission White Paper Adapting to climate change; Towards a European framework for action. The document includes guidance on how to take climate change into account in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, the Floods Directive and the Strategy on Water Scarcity and Droughts.

Water is at the core of climate change adaptation


The Water Framework Directive - what is it all about and how does it link to other water policies?

noteRead more in the 12 Water Notes dealing with different topics from international coordination to public participation, via chemical pollution, groundwater, floods and intercalibration… as well as links with other legislation such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and EU legislation on drinking and bathing water !

Since 2001 a Common Implementation Strategy has been in operation, bringing together national experts, stakeholders and the Commission involved first in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, and later also the Floods Directive. Read more about the outcomes of this process, such as guidance documents produced and key events in Thematic CIS information sheets.

Other available documents are:


Printed copies of our publications can be ordered through the EU Bookshop (