Report No FR/MTF 29

Europe's Water Research Priorities - the UK View


May 1997


Over the past few months, the European Commission's new Task Force 'Environment Water' has been engaged in a wide consultation exercise among EU member states to help define the future priorities for water-research funding under the EC's Framework Research and Technological Development Programmes. Among the submissions received by the Task Force is a report from a UK 'Mirror' Task Force (MTF) formed specially to represent the wide range of interests in the management and use of water in this country. The work of the UK MTF was sponsored by the Department of the Environment and the UK Environment Agencies and was managed on an independent basis by the Foundation for Water Research. The UK report identifies a large range of research needs in the management and use of water which it considers would be appropriate for funding and coordination at the European level. It concludes that there are six 'priority themes' of particular importance in relation to the development and implementation of EC directives relating to water and environmental management:- the ecological quality of freshwaters; the effect of land use with special reference to agriculture; disinfection of public water supplies; integrated catchment management; the impact of climate change; and understanding and informing the consumer.

The EC Task Force is expected to issue its report in July 1997 following a consultation meeting in June with representatives of the various National MTFs and other advisory groups. In its role as convenor of the UK MTF, the Foundation for Water Research will maintain a watching brief on the further activities of the EC Task Force and on the water-related areas of the current and future Framework research programmes.

Copies of the report are available from FWR, price 10.00, less 20% to FWR Members.