A Consensus on Water
The second day of the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul found European representatives sharing a growing awareness of water as a central issue in the region and calling for "a European water vision." Jacqueline McGlade of the European Environmental Agency may have put it most simply when she announced that "no part of Europe is immune to water scarcity."
Following under that theme, representatives from European nations mainly talked about cooperation and sustainability. Renske Peters of the Netherlands urged a "long-term" response to water use in her own country and Europe at large, while Anna Tsvietkova of Ukraine talked about ways she has been able to get Ukrainians to realize the need to think about and discuss their water supplies. Jean Francois le Grand of Normandy, France, urged representatives to consider locally-specific ways to make water use sustainable.
On a trans-national framework, Helmut Bloch of the European Union discussed ways that the EU is pushing standards for wastewater treatment, drinking water, and sanitation for all member countries. He admitted that groundwater pollution remained an issue but that EU regulations had greatly helped to protect rivers. Jean Francois le Grand likewise called for regional cooperation to help protect the many lakes and rivers that are shared across borders in Europe.
-Equatorial Press Staff Report. Photo by IISD.