Conference on water, climate change, and adaptation

Conference on water, climate change, and adaptation

Climate change poses a key challenge to water management and water-dependent sectors in the EU. Increasing water scarcity, deteriorating water quality, and heavy rainfall events or floods have serious consequences for drinking water supply and freshwater protection. But it is not only the water sector that is affected. Sectors such as agriculture, forestry, energy production, transportation and spatial planning are also closely linked to water.

European institutions play a key role in establishing framework conditions that enable actors in different sectors and at different scales in the Member States to efficiently adapt to these changes and increase resilience to climate change. There is an urgent need to discuss approaches on how adaptation can best be supported by the EU, building upon a sound scientific basis of the impacts of climate change and the effect on different sectors. This implies that both gradual changes and extreme events must be considered.

Therefore, a conference was organised as part of the German EU Council Presidency 2020 to address the most important water-related issues. Four thematic complexes were identified for discussion at the conference:

  • Excess water;
  • Water shortages;
  • Instruments for climate change adaptation in river basin management;
  • Cross-cutting topics for a revised European Adaptation Strategy.

The aim of the conference was to bring together stakeholders from different backgrounds, including EU Member States, EU institutions, NGOs, practitioners and researchers on the topic of water, climate change and adaptation. This resulted in finalising a policy paper with recommendations for future measures and activities to efficiently support adaptation efforts in EU Member States and transboundary basins. The outcomes of the conference also served to support the drafting of a new EU Adaptation Strategy.

FT supported the conference management together with the agency responsible for the entire German EU Council Presidency and was responsible for the content development of the event.

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Conference: Climate change and the European water dimension – Enhancing resilience






Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), Germany

geographic scope:



Thomas Dworak
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