1. Landing page

The entry page will provide the below information and assessment at the EU level

Water resources of Europe (europa.eu)

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Country profiles on water resources and water scarcity

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This section presents key data related to sustainable management of water resources in Europe. Country profiles are available for each EU-27 Member State, EEA Member and Cooperating countries (Eionet).

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Map of Europe with two groups of countries highlighted.  In green are the 32 EEA member countries,  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Türkiye. In blue are EEA cooperating countries,  Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo. (The designation Kosovo is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.) The United Kingdom is left white.

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[Note: Image has been added for illustrative purposes; the landing page design is subject to change, but all Eionet countries should be visible on the final landing page]


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Purpose of the WISE country profile on water resources

The objective of the EU Water Framework Directive is to promote sustainable water use based on long-term protection of available water resources, to prevent further deterioration and to protect and improve the status of aquatic ecosystems and, in terms of their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands directly dependent on aquatic ecosystems, and to enhance the protection and improvement of the aquatic environment.

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Consistent with the overall objective of the Water Framework Directive, the Country Profile is intended to provide the public with access to robust and reliable information on water resources, address the key characteristics of water resources at the country level, and promote the exchange of data and information on water resources among EIONET member countries.

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Glossary

fresh surface water: water which flows over, or is stored on, the ground surface. It includes artificial reservoirs, lakes, rivers and streams, glaciers, snow and ice.

groundwater: water which collects in the pores or fractions or cavities of underground geological formations (known as aquifers).

renewable freshwater resources: The average annual amount of precipitation less evapotranspiration that ends up as run-off to rivers and recharge to aquifers (internal flow), and the average amount of inflow of surface waters and groundwater from neighbouring countries minus the outflow of surface water and groundwater into neighbouring countries and into the sea.

water abstraction: The amount of water that is removed from any source, either permanently or temporarily, in a given period of time for final consumption and production activities. Water used for hydroelectric power generation is also considered to be water abstraction. Total water abstraction can be broken down according to the type of source, such as water resources and other sources, and the type of use.

water use:  The total volume of water intake by a socio-economic activity (e.g. water intake for household needs, including drinking water, irrigation of crops, cooling at industrial and energy production plants). Water use includes both consumptive and non-consumptive activities. Consumptive activities result in evaporation and transpiration of water or its integration into products. Non-consumptive activities use water and then return it to surface water and groundwater but with potential changes to its physico-chemical properties. Water use may incorporate excess water intake ('water waste'), which does not serve the needs of the activity.

water consumption: The part of water used that is not returned to groundwater or surface water because it is incorporated into products (e.g. food and beverages) or consumed by households (e.g. drinking water) or livestock. It is calculated as the difference between total water use and total supply to other sectors + returns to surface water and groundwater. Thus, it may include transpiration of water from crops, the losses due to evaporation during distribution and the apparent losses due to unauthorised tapping and malfunctioning meters. The term is equivalent to 'consumptive water use'

water scarcity: Water scarcity defines a mid-term water stress condition (e.g. seasonal, annual or multi-annual) occurring when the water demand for human needs frequently exceeds the sustainable supply capacity of the natural system in river basins. Water scarcity is the consequence of anthropogenic impacts on the availability of water resources. Water scarcity can be measured as the ratio between renewable freshwater resources and water abstraction or water use. The occurrence of droughts in river basins exacerbates the impacts of water scarcity on both ecosystem and socio-economic conditions (as regards resilience, maintenance and restoration/development).

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