Andreas Baumüller, the head of natural resources at WWF’s European policy office, said: “Rivers, lakes and wetlands are our life support systems but they are being annihilated under our very eyes. We have the legal tool to stop this – the EU water law – but member states must actively stand up to the sectors that pollute and destroy the most.”
Industry lobbyists claim the directive’s rules are too stringent.
The Swedish mining company SveMin says the rule “cannot prevail” because of its “severe negative impact on investments”. The document calls for more flexible exemptions and a new definition of a good ecological water state.
The UK’s National Farmers’ Union also wants the rule reviewed for costs to industry and feasibility. Its submission argues that the onset of climate change necessitates a “reality check”, including more derogations from “unachievable” water flow targets.
Europe’s hydropower industry appealed for more consideration of industry costs, subsidiarity principles and dam approvals under EU “non-deterioration” standards.