EurEau Reaction to the European Commission’s Revision of the Common Agricultural Policy
EurEau is concerned by the lack of ambition of the next CAP to safeguard water sources and stimulate sustainable development.
Both water and agriculture are essential for life. However, agriculture increasingly affects the quantity and the quality of drinking water resources through over-abstraction and the intensive use of chemicals and anthropogenic substances respectively.
EurEau is concerned that the revised Common Agricultural Policy – presented on 1 June by Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan – will not sufficiently incentivise the protection of our water resources through sustainable farming practices.
Oliver Loebel, Secretary General of EurEau, stated: “The new CAP seems to focus more on efforts than results. We strongly believe that payments to farmers should be conditional to full compliance with EU environmental legislation. In practice, we see increasing nitrate concentrations in many drinking water catchment areas. If extra treatment is needed to deliver clean and safe drinking water, the cost for the water consumer is significant. It fundamentally contradicts the polluter-pays principle if the environmental costs for unsustainable farming practices are passed on to other parts of society”.
Apart from better policy coordination, EurEau calls for a real dialogue between farmers and the water sector and public support for local cooperation projects between these sectors.