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News Water Quality and Quantity Serious Problem

Almost 2/3 of Europeans consider that the quality of water in their country is a serious problem, according to a special Eurobarometer survey on Europeans' opinion on water issues published by the European Commission. The report also shows that Europeans see the quantity of available water as an equally serious problem. More than a third of Europeans feel that over the last five years the quality of rivers, lakes and coastal waters has deteriorated.

Some 68% of Europeans think the quality of water in their country is a serious problem. The most worried are the Greeks where 90% of people are concerned about water and the least alarmed are the Austrians (26%).  Concern about the quantity of water is greatest in Cyprus where 97% of Cypriots feel water quantity is a serious problem compared to 63% of Europeans on average. Least concerned are the Finns with 23%.

More Europeans (37%) feel the quality of water in their country has deteriorated over the last 5 years against 30% who think it has stayed the same and 27% who say it has improved. Three out of four Cypriots believe the quality of water deteriorated compared to 16% in Austria and 48% of Danes. Only 17% of Greeks think water quality is the same as before while 48% of Dutch and only 5% of Cypriots say it has improved.

A large number of Europeans say they are taking steps to reduce water-related problems. Some 84% of them have reduced their water consumption, with 97% of Cypriots saying they have done so over the past 2 years while 56% of Romanians have. The use of environmentally-friendly household chemicals is another way Europeans are reducing their household's impact of water. With 78%, Austrians are the most likely to use such chemicals while only 33% of Romanians are.

The Water Framework Directive requires Member States to prepare River Basin Management Plans for all river basin districts by the end of 2009. Consultations open to the public for 6 months must be carried out on draft plans, to be available at least 12 months prior to this date. The process is currently on-going in most Member States, but relatively few European citizens polled have taken part despite widespread interest.

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News type Inbrief
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Source of information European Water News
Keyword(s) EU-WFD
Geographical coverage Europe
News date 24/04/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH