Soil protection: Building on the Water-Soil Nexus for an integrated & Circular Economy


On the 27th of April, the European Commission closed its public consultation on the new EU soil strategy. Water Europe is glad to contribute to this discussion with its new position paper ‘Healthy Soils Strategy: Building on the Water-Soil Nexus for an integrated & Circular Economy’.

While the strategy considers the interdependence between the quality and resilience of soil and the management of water, wastewater, and wetland ecosystems, Water Europe would like to reiterate some recommendations for a truly circular and sustainable soil management:

  1. Build a comprehensive and water-smart framework for soil management
  2. Encourage the deployment of digital water solutions for soil monitoring objectives
  3. Encourage the exploitation of the value in water to reduce soil pollution
  4. Encourage the deployment of new business models/value networks for soil management

In parallel, during the plenary session of the 28th of April, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it calls on the Commission to design a EU-wide common legal framework for the protection and sustainable use of soil. This resolution:

– Stresses the importance of achieving a so-called ‘Water-Smart Society’ to support the restoration and protection of soil|
– Calls on the Commission to encourage the use of the relevant digital tools to monitor the status of water and soil and the effectiveness of policy instruments;
– Calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve and speed up efforts to fully exploit the value in water
– Recognizes the co-benefits of wetlands and nature-based solutions
– Calls for dedicated support for research on the positive role that healthy soils play in further reducing diffuse pollution into water

During the debate, the Commissioner Sinkevicius assured that he will take this resolution fully into account and reaffirmed the need for a holistic policy framework on soil.

For more information please download the full position paper here.

The resolution can be seen here.


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