Posts By :

    Almut Bonhage

    10 years of the Water Framework Directive: A Toothless Tiger?

    453 640 Almut Bonhage

    The adoption of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000 was a major landmark establishing new requirements for integrated river basin planning in order to achieve ecological objectives. Ten years of planning and consultation across Europe went into River Basin Management Plans (RBMP), which were meant to be the main vehicles for realising the new water management regime by setting the environmental objectives.

    With this fifth snapshot the EEB and its Members have investigated RBMPs across Europe to get a quantitative comparison of environmental ambitions, focussing on nutrient pollution.

    This snapshot established serious doubts over the effectiveness of the WFD implementation to change specific and wellknown unsustainable water management practices. Robust nutrient pollution parameters and targeted measures, as they should be used to define and achieve the good ecological status under the ‘one out – all out’ principle, are unnecessarily drowning in complexity and ignorance. These issues have to be addressed in a general and longer-term perspective in the Commission’s 2012 review of the WFD implementation as part of the ‘Blueprint to safeguard EU water’ (EC 2010).

    Paper researched and written by Stefan Scheuer (Stefan Scheuer S.P.R.L.) and Joeri Naus (EEB stagaire)

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    Heads in the sand over Europe’s most dangerous chemicals

    554 784 Almut Bonhage

    Many chemicals can cause irreversible damage to humans and animals. Emissions of such hazardous chemicals have to be phased out and their uses should be substituted with safer alternatives according to EU water and chemical legislation.

    Greenpeace investigated progress with phasing out emissions of the well-known environmental pollutant Nonylphenol in five EU member states, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Spain and the UK. Nonylphenol, a very hazardous, hormone disrupting chemical which presents particular threats to human and animal fertility, has been identifiedby the EU in 2001 for a emission phase out.

    In 2003, marketing and use of Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol-ethoxylate as such or in preparations in the EU has largely been banned, but its presence in consumer article is still allowed.

    Despite well documented high levels of NP emissions into our aquatic ecosystemand publicly available monitoring data, which show concentrations close to maximum allowed levels, authorities ignore legal requirements to act.

    Written and edited by Stefan Scheuer, Advisor to Greenpeace

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    Europe’s water at the crossroads

    694 692 Almut Bonhage

    The European Environmental Bureau and WWF launch benchmarks for Europe’s water policy: Europe’s water at the crossroads. Five headline indicators are presented to measure progress in the ongoing water management reforms under the EU Water Framework Directive. The indicators look at issues like transparency and public onwership of river basin management, provision of more space and water to enhance aquatic ecosystems and making them more resilient to climate change.

    Scheuer, S. (2008). Europe’s water at the crossroads. Brussels: EEB and WWF.

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    A Fresh Perspective for Managing Water in California

    563 723 Almut Bonhage

    Throughout the world there is increasing public awareness of the importance of sustainable water management to meet both growing human demands and ecosystem needs. Predictions of increased climate variability and indicators of ecological and water quality deterioration have made water management a salient political issue, particularly in arid climate regions such as western North America and the Iberian Peninsula. In recent years, substantial effort has been focused on adopting sustainable water use practices and mitigating the impacts to natural rivers and streams resulting from human activities. Yet the restoration of natural biological communities has been more difficult than anticipated. Our inability to effectively restore and protect rivers and groundwater sources are in part due to the scale of environmental damage inflicted upon them, but also are a consequence of the legal and institutional frameworks under which water is managed. Assessments of the current state of the world’s water resources suggest that conventional approaches to water management will be inadequate to sustainably balance human and ecosystem needs into the future. Furthermore, as nations around the world struggle with water management challenges, there has been little explicit attempt for one region to learn from the experience of another in approaching common problems.

    The European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) defines a new strategy for meeting human water demands while protecting environmental functions and values and may be helpful in informing water management practices and policies in other regions of the world. In the report we explore how the management approach described under the WFD compares to the legal and institutional system of a California river basin, managed under distinctly different principles and objectives. Through a theoretical application of the WFD, we highlight the critical water management challenges of northern California’s Russian River basin and use the Directive’s approach to develop strategic recommendations for water management reform.

    A Fresh Perspective for Managing Water in California:Insights from Applying the European Water Framework Directive to the Russian River
    Ted Grantham, Juliet Christian-Smith, G. Matt Kondolf, and Stefan Scheuer
    University of California, Water Resources Center Contribution #208
    ISBN-13: 978-0-9788896-2-3; ISBN-10: 0-9788896-2-2
    March 2008

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    EU Environmental Policy Handbook

    327 500 Almut Bonhage

    Scheuer, S.  (Ed) (2005). EU Environmental Policy Handbook, A critical Analysis of EU Environmental Legislation – making it accessible to environmentalists and decision makers. 344 pp.
    Brussels: European Environmental Bureau.

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