We all need water to survive. But without healthy rivers, lakes and wetlands, there is no water.

The sources of Europe’s water are protected under EU law – but many EU governments want to weaken the law. Together, we MUST stop this from happening.

The European Commission now wants you to have your say through its public consultation. This is your only chance to tell them to keep our water law strong.

We have prepared the response that will best ensure that the law is kept safe. To send this to the European Commission on your behalf, please fill in your details and click ‘ACT NOW’.

Thank you for supporting #ProtectWater!

Background information

What's the problem

According to the latest data, 60% of Europe’s rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands are not healthy. For generations we have destroyed and polluted them, and used too much water irresponsibly. If we continue in this way, it will affect everything - from small things in our day-to-day lives we take for granted, to keeping entire industries going. It will also affect all the countless species that need these ecosystems to survive. The EU water law protects our water sources, but governments now want to weaken it.

Who's to blame

Our governments are allowing rivers, lakes and wetlands to be exploited in ways that cause permanent harm. For example, dams and other infrastructure (e.g. hydropower, flood defence and navigation) sever a river’s natural flow and stop species from reproducing. Unsustainable agriculture pollutes and uses lots of water. Through the EU water law, governments agreed to end this destruction - but, they have failed to live up to their promises. And, to make matters worse, they now want weaken the law!

What's the solution

In Europe, we have a strong law that protects our rivers, lakes, wetlands, streams, coastal waters and groundwater – the EU Water Framework Directive. It also ensures that waters which have already been damaged are brought back to life, and by 2027 at the latest. But, as you read this, many governments are trying to weaken the law. This would be a terrible blow for our rivers, lakes and wetlands, and everything that depends on them.


A world without beer?

A lot of things go into making your favourite beer, but it all starts good quality water. But Europe’s water sources are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Rivers, lakes, wetlands, streams and groundwater are all protected under EU law. This law makes sure that Member States protect their waters, and restore those which have already been damaged. 2027 is their final deadline. As you read this, many Member States are trying to weaken the law. Together, we MUST stop this!


A world without wildlife?

Freshwater ecosystems are the most threatened on the planet and, as WWF’s 2018 Living Planet Report shows, the abundance of freshwater species worldwide has declined by 83% since 1970. The situation is no different in Europe, where the quality and availability of water is rapidly deteriorating. This has had, and will continue to have, consequences for us, our economies and, of course, our wildlife. Time is ticking, but we still have a chance to save our waters and wildlife. Nature can recover remarkably fast when simply given the chance. But we need to act NOW.