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April 19, 2012 / landscapeiskingston

Europeans Attitudes Towards Water Related Issues-Survey

Attitudes of Europeans Towards Water Related Issues – survey requested by EU Directorate-General for Environment.

The quality and quantity of water available in Europe is an important issue.  In 2000 the EU adopted the Water Framework Directive with the goal of achieving ‘good status’ for all EU waters by 2015.   The “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources” is being developed as the EU policy response to the challenge of EU’s water policy goals. The Blueprint will identify current gaps and future priorities and provide guidance to water policy development until 2020.  It will include economic and climate modelling till 2050.

1.       Europeans feel less informed about problems facing groundwater, lakes, rivers and coastal waters in their country than they did in 2009.  Only 37% respondents replied that they feel well or very well informed about problems facing groundwater, lakes, rivers and coastal waters in their country with only 16% of those living in Latvia likely to say they feel informed about problems facing inland waterways in their country .

2.       A majority believe that water quality and quantity problems are serious.   79% of respondents across the EU consider floods and droughts and overconsumption of water  to be serious problems.  

3.       Impact of various factors on the status of water.   At least eight out of ten respondents consider that pesticides and fertilizers in agriculture and household water consumption and waste water have an impact on the quality and quantity of water.  

4.       Main threats to the water environment.   At least eight out of ten Europeans believe that chemical pollution is a threat to the water environment. Climate change is the next most commonly mentioned threat (55%), followed by changes to the water ecosystem (49%). At least four out of ten consider floods (46%), water shortage (45%) and algae growth (41%) to be threats to the water environment.  

5.       Tackling water problems   Two-thirds of Europeans believe that more information about the environmental consequences of water use is the most effective way of tackling water problems.

Full details of the survey http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_344_sum_en.pdf

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