Increasingly frequent extreme weather events are affecting people, economies and water supplies. More and more regions in Europe are affected by winter and summer droughts, floods, mudslides and landslides. Groundwater levels in some regions are lower than they have been for a long time.

Against this backdrop, this AK EUROPA policy brief raises the question of how to ensure that everyone in Europe and beyond has access to clean and affordable drinking water and sanitation in the future. There is an urgent need to address the threat of water scarcity and to prevent potential conflicts over water use. To this end, a European water strategy - a Blue Deal, as proposed by the EESC - is needed.

AK demands that the human right to water must be guaranteed for all people in Europe. Water is essential for life and should be in public ownership. Regulations are needed at national and European level to better regulate water consumption and to provide more efficient and better financial support for water infrastructure. Forward-looking planning should prevent conflicts over water and develop good solutions for people, industry, business and agriculture.

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Iris Strutzmann

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Thomas Kattnig

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Florian Wukovitsch (Brussels office)

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