Overhaul urged for French water policies

Government advisors see transposition of EU framework directive as key opportunity for change

France should "seize the opportunity" offered by a legal obligation to transpose the EU water framework directive by December 2003 to tackle its disorganised jumble of water policies, concludes a report published yesterday by the government's main policy advisory body. A comprehensive and coherent framework aimed at ensuring sustainable delivery of good quality drinking water should be created, it says.

The report finds current drinking water quality to be "satisfactory," but identifies continuing and serious threats to groundwater in intensively-farmed areas. Existing regulations, management structures and fiscal measures will provide no long-term solution to these problems, it says.

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