Programme  OS1c Europe and North America  abstract 738

Is the Water Framework Directive going to work?

Author(s): José Albiac

Keyword(s): water management, common pool resource, cooperation, collective action

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Session: OS1c Europe and North America
AbstractThe scarcity and degradation of water resources is an important environmental problem in

Europe. The use of water by the different economic sectors creates scarcity in some regions, and a widespread

water quality degradation from point and nonpoint pollution. Water scarcity is serious in Southern countries, with a

strong demand during summer for irrigation and tourism. Despite regulations and large investments in water treatment

plants, water quality degradation remains high in many river basins. The implementation of the Water Framework

Directive is not an easy task, and some water policies being implemented seem misguided. The improvement in

water management requires better information and knowledge on surface and ground water and on their associated

ecosystems. These tasks need time and resources, and the lack of data and knowledge on the underlying biophysical

processes in the use of water resources, precludes and adequate and sustainable management. This knowledge is

essential for designing reasonable control measures, such as the ones required by the Water Framework Directive.

Measures require also the cooperation of stakeholders to attain a sustainable management of water resources.

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