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Water protection and management
Some 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by seas and oceans, and these produce almost three quarters of the oxygen we breathe. We can use directly only 1% of this water, however, and many forms of human activity put water resources under considerable pressure. Polluted water, whatever the source of the pollution, flows one way or another back into our natural surroundings – into the sea or water tables – from where it can have a harmful effect on human health and the environment. One of the most important pieces of legislation in this area is the Water Framework Directive.
- GENERAL FRAMEWORK
- SPECIFIC USES OF WATER
- MARINE POLLUTION
- European Union Strategy for Danube Region
- Baltic Sea Strategy
- Environment strategy for the Mediterranean
- Strategy to improve maritime governance in the Mediterranean
- Black Sea Synergy
- Danube - Black Sea region
DISCHARGES OF SUBSTANCES
- Industrial emissions
- Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)
- Environmental quality standards applicable to surface water
- Protection of groundwater against pollution
- Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
- Agricultural nitrates
- Community strategy concerning mercury
- Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances (until 2013)
- Other substances: protection of groundwater