Thematic Event by Slovak EUSDR Presidency: Climate Change & Water
In 2020, a revised Action Plan of the EUSDR Action Plan was adopted to boost a more committed involvement of all stakeholders for the implementation of the Danube Region Strategy. The activities and objectives of the Strategy have been updated to make a better interlinkage between them. There should also be a better link with the Cohesion Policy and a more efficient use of European Union funds.
Climate change and biodiversity protection are one of the thematic priorities under the Slovak Presidency in EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). This topic is following the European Green Deal policy focused on making Europe climate neutral by 2050.
Climate change affects all aspects of life in the Danube Region, therefore the adaptation to climate change should be mirrored in all Priority Areas. This topic is highly cross-sectoral and creates a significant space for cooperation within the Danube Strategy.
According to the revised EUSDR Action Plan adopted by the European Commission in 2020, Priority Area 4 “Water Quality” (PA4) keeps strong emphasis on adaptation to climate change impacts. Specifically, the Action 6 of the PA4 Action Plan promotes the measures to adapt to climate change impacts in relation to water quality and quantity. This involves the implementation of measures to control water abstraction and groundwater overexploitation; support to and promotion of green infrastructure and natural water retention measures; incentives to coordinated basin and urban planning; stakeholders in agriculture and public awareness about the importance of soil moisture and water retention capacity in soil under changing climate conditions.
Adaptation strategies in the water sector will need to address several emerging trends driven by climate change. These include increased uncertainty, variability and extreme weather events. In the water sector, planned interventions include both supply and demand side. While supply side adaptation options involve increases in storage capacity in the country or abstraction from water courses; demand side options, like increasing the allocative efficiency of water to ensure that economic and social benefit is maximized.