The prospect of greater pressures on water resources, along with the uncertainties due to climate change, require policy measures to ensure future security of water supplies. Keith Hayward looks at a new assessment from the European Environment Agency to help support policy progress with demand management.
Water policy, not least in Europe, has moved beyond reliance solely on supply-focused approaches. These drive growing exploitation of freshwater resources and expansion of networks. Reliance on these alone is unsustainable. Instead, demand-focused measures seek to drive down the quantity of water required. Achieving the same end result with less input, this represents a shift to a goal of greater water efficiency.
There are, in essence, two ways to drive down demand: price measures and non-price measures. A recent European study, the results of which have just been published by the European Environment Agency, has aimed to provide insights into how to implement such measures to contribute to a more water secure future.
The study included an assessment of eight European countries based on a literature review. It also included ten case studies of domestic demand to gather fresh evidence on the relationship between water price and consumption.
- Europe, water resources, municipal water