The Atlas illustrates the role of water in European cities and informs citizens as well as local authorities and experts about good practices and cutting-edge developments that can contribute to ensuring that water is used more efficiently and sustainably, helping to save this valuable resource. Detailed factsheets in the Urban Water Atlas for Europe present the state of water management in more than 40 European cities and regions, together with a number of overseas examples.
The atlas also presents cities' 'Urban Water Footprint', a measure of domestic water use as well as water use embodied in agricultural and industrial products consumed. It aims to raise awareness of the large amount of water used to produce food and the striking difference in water needs among different diets. For example, healthier and low-meat diets could save as much as 30% to 40% of water currently used for food production.
Apart from providing a wealth of information, the atlas also aims to encourage citizens to take an interest and get involved in water issues by combining the work of scientists, artists, politicians and municipal stakeholders with that of schoolchildren and teachers. The atlas is presented in an innovative, accessible and attractive format. It also attempts to change traditional perceptions of water being a free and infinite resource, and to encourage conservation.