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Is the Water Framework Directive going to work?

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Josť Albiac

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