Urban Water Agenda


While providing a range of water-related services to their citizens and taking care of urban water systems, the majority of local governments in Europe are also critical stakeholders in the implementation of the European Union water policy that is aiming at a good status of all water bodies.

But local governments are also confronted with numerous pressures on their water sector, among them:

  • An ageing infrastructure in water, waste water and stormwater management systems;
  • Inefficiencies caused by water leakages, over-abstraction, and wastewater treatment effluents;
  • Impacts of climate change, including an increasing occurrence of extreme floods and droughts and more widespread water scarcity;
  • A deteriorating water quality due to primary substances, pharmaceuticals, and upstream agricultural pollution.

The Urban Water Agenda 2030 process acknowledges the essential role of cities in water resources management. It is an initiative to encourage, support and enable local governments and their water utilities to take voluntary action for complementing Member States' efforts to meet EU water policy.

In 2017, a core group of cities was formed and a wide consultation process conducted to develop a strategy for the Urban Water Agenda 2030 for stimulating political commitment and tangible action to foster sustainable urban water management among local governments and their water utilities across the European Union. It is foreseen to roll out the strategy from 2019 on.