Stock-taking Analysis and Outlook of Drought Policies, Planning and Management in EU Member States
Schmidt, Guido et al. (2023). Stock-taking analysis and outlook of drought policies, planning and management in EU Member States. Final report under contract “Technical and scientific support to the European Drought Observatory (EDO) for Resilience and Adaptation - Lot 2: In-depth assessment of drought management plans and a report on climate adaptation actions against drought in different sectors” (ENV/2021/OP/0009) for the European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment.
This background report supports the aim of the European Commission to establish a better understanding of drought impacts and risks for different sectors of society, raise awareness amongst all water stakeholders regarding the increased risk of drought due to climate change, exchange information on effective options for dealing with drought risk and steer discussion towards a harmonised approach at the European level.
This new report, to which Ecologic Institute contributed, presents a stock-taking analysis of drought policies, planning and management in EU Member States and an outlook of planned work within the Member States and at EU level. It has been developed based on individual Member State assessments of the corresponding legislation, planning and management, including the latest available versions of (draft) River Basin Management Plans in spring 2022, using a common questionnaire, as well as more than 70 interviews with Member State administrations and stakeholders and a wide review process.
Drought and water scarcity have become more evident and impactful across the EU in the past decade, and with global warming, the risk of droughts will further increase for large parts of Europe. This has triggered further Member State action to reduce water demand and/or increase water supply for an improved preparedness, as well as strengthening capacities to manage drought event relief and recovery, and thus reduce drought impacts on society, economy, and ecosystems. Currently, in two third (19 out of 27) of the EU Member States, the way to deal with drought is regulated by legislation. EU Member States use a significant variety of approaches, governance setups and actions at policy, planning and management levels, which reflect the varying relevance of droughts as well as policy and management choices. Sharing of good practice and lessons learned from past drought management can foster better management systems.