Water is essential for life and for the economy and is one of the main environmental topics of European Union (EU) policy. Even if most Europeans have historically been shielded from the social, economic, and environmental effects of severe water shortages, the gap between the demand for and availability of water resources is reaching critical levels in many parts of Europe. Climate change is likely to exacerbate current pressures on European water resources. Moreover, much of Europe will increasingly face reduced water availability during the summer months, and the frequency and intensity of drought is projected to increase, particularly in the southern and Mediterranean countries. Thus, the EU is showing increasing concern regarding drought events and water scarcity, and policymakers and utility managers must face the challenge of balancing the increasing human demand for water with the protection of ecosystem sustainability. The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), the most relevant European Water Framework, is based on the idea that water management needs to take account of economic, ecological, and social issues and that its prime objective is the sustainable use and management of water resources.
KeywordsEuropean Union Water Service Water Industry Severe Water Shortage Utility Manager
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