This report describes how the natural cycle of water availability is continuously coming under threat from a variety of different pressures like droughts and water scarcity, pollution, and flood risks which all increase the vulnerability of the freshwater ecosystems and societies. Land use, water abstraction and climate change are human-induced changes that alter the natural flow regimes that exist in water bodies.
Water plays a central role in the functioning of the biosphere and in supporting all life. Freshwater ecosystems are particularly important, providing a unique and diverse array of services upon which human society depends. These services include 'provisioning' services, such as the provision of water for agriculture and hydropower. They also include 'regulating' services, where water helps regulate our environment, such as by flood control or the breaking down of pollutants.
If our freshwater ecosystems are to continue to provide these services it is essential that there is water in sufficient quantity and of sufficient quality. This report primarily focuses on the problem of water quantity in Europe.
Source: European Environment Agency (EEA)