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Impact Assessment and support studies for the Blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources

Impact Assessment

The Impact Assessment (IA) of the Blueprint brought together the output of the assessment of River Basin Management Plans (RBMP), the review of the Water Scarcity and Droughts (WSD) policy, the review of the vulnerability of water resources to climate change and other man made pressures and the Fitness Check of EU freshwater policy, by conducting several cross-cutting strands of analysis, covering gaps and making the link with other studies and research projects.

It focused on the identification of the key challenges for water resources management and the identification and assessment of a set of policy options for action at EU level. The IA paid specific attention to subsidiarity aspects and to the articulation with the current Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) of the Water Framework Directive.


This main report is complemented by an executive summary.

Support Studies

The IA builds on a set of external support studies:

The study "Assessment of policy options for the Blueprint" provided the Commission with policy options to address water needs and policy gaps together with socio-economic and environmental analysis of those options to enable the Commission to take these forward within its wider policy development process for water policy and consistent with the overall requirements for proposing policy initiatives within the Commission Services.

In the context of the Impact assessment for the Blueprint, refining the result of ClimWatAdapt, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission developed a baseline scenario bringing together climate, land-use and socio-economic scenarios and a multi-criteria optimisation of different policy scenarios for water resources availability and use. The methodology and the results are described in the support studies "A multi-criteria optimisation of scenarios for the protection of water resources in Europe" and "Evaluation of the effectiveness of Natural Water Retention Measures" (further information on Natural Water Retention Measures is available here ).

The comparative study of pressures and measures in the major river basin management plans in the EU provided a structured gathering, analysis and comparison of information on various elements related to river basin management in order to provide conclusions at European level.

The Impact Assessment was also based on the studies feeding to the review of the WSD policy.

Finally, the building of water balances at EU level paved the way for a more precise quantification of pressures on water resources and of sectoral/geographical variations.


If you have any questions about the supporting studies for the Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Waters, or if you have any ideas about how to improve this site, please send us an email to the "Water Blueprint Mailbox" of Environment DG.