New Water Europe’s position on a Water-Soil Nexus in Europe
In the context of the public consultation for a Soil Health Law, Water Europe published a response and a policy-oriented paper that you can find here. Stressing the interdependencies of environmental and economic sectors, this new law shall provide not only a crucial basis for a resilient ecosystem but also for many other services, such as energy, raw materials, carbon sequestration, water purification, and infiltration.
In April 2021, The European Parliament stressed the importance of achieving a so-called ‘water-smart society’ to support the restoration and protection of soil, as well as of exploring the close relationship between soil health and water pollution; including the use of the relevant digital tools to monitor the status of water and soil and the effectiveness of policy instruments (European Parliament resolution of 28 April 2021 on soil protection (2021/2548(RSP)). Therefore, the European Commission shall include in its legislative proposal:
- Unleash the water-soil nexus through inclusive governance, including monitoring the parameters of soil texture and transparent and publicly accessible data.
- Encourage better water quality and circular materials management in order to:
✔Better exploit the value in water, such as substances and raw materials,
✔Encourage legal clarity and harmonization on the use of building materials based on a reused index,
✔Encourage water efficiency,
✔Support better ground and surface water quality.
- Mitigate climate change and pollution with adequate solutions, which means:
✔Contaminated soils should be handled according to the most sustainable treatment method to not affect future generations, and
✔The inclusion of the ‘technical subsidiarity principle’.
For more detailed information, feel free to take a look at the factsheet included in our position paper with all the relevant data to keep in mind.