Biodiversity & nature


Water is one of our most precious natural resources. It is vital for our survival and livelihood; our environment; our wildlife; and our economy.

Water is sourced from ecosystems. As well as supporting agriculture to produce food and fuel; hydropower to produce energy; and inland navigation to transport goods freshwater ecosystems provide other services to society. They regulate water flows; purify waste water; diltues wastes; regulate climate; mitigate erosion; and offer cultural, aesthetic and even spiritual benefits. It is therefore vital that we maintain and enhance our freshwater ecosystems and secure the important services and benefits they provide.

Governments and authorities are now slowly acknowledging that Europe’s water environment is in an unacceptable state. Despite some progress made in the past decades, the majority of rivers, lakes and coastal waters have been degraded to the point where they cannot sustain functioning ecosystems or their vital services..

The main reason for this decline is denying nature sufficient space and water volume to maintain functioning ecosystems. Groundwater levels continue to fall and pollution levels remain high.

Up to date environmental information on Europe’s water can be found here: