Healthy water is fundamental to life and vital for nature, but we are facing the very real risk of seeing the laws protecting our waters weakened.
The protection and quality of Europe’s water bodies are protected under EU law – this is the major law governing water quality in the UK. But many EU governments want to weaken the law. Together, we MUST stop this from happening. No matter what the Brexit deal, the UK is likely to follow suit.
The European Commission now wants you to have your say through its public consultation. This is your chance to tell them to keep our water law strong.
Tell the Commission to keep our water laws strong
WWT have worked in partnership with WWF Europe to prepare a response that will best ensure that the law is kept safe. To send this to the Commission on your behalf, please fill in your details below and click ‘ACT NOW'.
Why EU water law matters for the UK
For generations we have destroyed and polluted our watery habitats, and used too much water irresponsibly. Through the EU water law, governments agreed to end this destruction and has resulted in significant funding and much action to improve our water bodies. However, this needs to be sustained and built upon to increase and maintain the number of our water bodies considered healthy. These water laws protect our waterways and commit to repairing damage by 2027. This means the UK as well as other EU countries.
If the law is weakened, we can expect:
- Wildlife that WWT work to protect and conserve on the European flyways will be directly affected by worsening water quality, including endangered species such as the red-breasted goose and Bewick's swan
- Unsustainable land management will lead to pollutants running off the land and into our water and can require significant volumes of water
- Dams and other infrastructure (e.g. for hydropower, flood defence and navigation) sever a river’s natural flow and can stop species from reproducing. Wildlife populations stand to decrease as their breeding habitats are compromised and polluted
- Water powers industry - products we rely on importing from Europe will be affected Where European law leads, others will follow. The example that is set here is likely to be taken up by other countries including the UK after Brexit
How your actions will help
The European Commission now wants you to have your say through its public consultation. This is your chance to tell them to keep our water law strong and ensure that governments continue to be held accountable. Turning back the clock on this deterioration cannot be done without strong legislation.
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. But, as you read this, many governments are trying to weaken the law. We don’t want this to happen in the EU or the UK. This would be a terrible blow for our rivers, lakes and wetlands, and everything that depends on them.