European Water Alliance pressures ‘polluters pays principle’
The EU Water Alliance, an informal coalition of over 500 organisations, has addressed their key messages to the new European Commissioners. Water Alliance states: “Water should be a vital and cross‐cutting theme in research and innovation policies and financing instruments.” Moreover the European Innovation Partnership on Water should be supported as it is considered as ‘a strategic driver for systemic changes in European water sector’. Collaboration between all Innovation Partnerships has to be fortified.
EU water policy should be based on ‘resource efficiency and recovery’. Pollution source control via full implementation of a polluter‐pays principle. The EU Water Alliance promotes sustainable water management as a driver for a circular and green economy stimulating industrial symbiosis.
Furthermore the principle of cost recovery and price transparency needs to be ensured. “Regulation and voluntary incentives on water stewardship should go hand in hand. EU policies need to ensure that water is taken into account along the whole value chain across the production-, product- or service cycle.”
Support to other sectors
The EU Water Alliance states that the sustainable management of Europe’s water resources is essential to ensure a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking Climate Change policy.
Europe has one of the longest track records in water management in the World and is still a global industrial leader in terms of service provision and technology development, states The Water Alliance. “This history has also led to Europe having a wide spectrum of leading expertise in the various aspects of water resource management. Hundreds of European Institutions, public and private water service providers, SMEs, engineering and consulting companies have developed and continue to develop highly technical concepts to address water problems in the EU and around the globe.”
Ambitious water legislation as a driver for innovation
With the Water Framework Directive, the Floods Directive and related policies, the EU has “one of the most ambitious and challenging pieces of water legislation in the world, thus providing a unique regulatory driver for innovation in the water‐dependent economy, offering us a competitive advantages comparing to other regions.”