Water Management in the Alps Platform (2009-2019)

Chairs: Italy & Slovenia 

Water is one of the 12 main issues listed in the Alpine Convention in Article 2. However, this specific issue has not yet been covered by a specific protocol. The objective of the Alpine Convention concerning water management is to preserve or re-establish healthy water systems, in particular by keeping lakes and rivers free of pollution, by applying natural hydraulic engineering techniques, and by using water power in such a way that the interests of both the indigenous population and the environment are served alike. 

The Alpine Convention instituted a Platform on water issues in 2009 at the X Alpine Conference following the adoption of the second Report on the State of the Alps Water and Water Management Issues. The objectives and recommendations identified in this report served as the guidelines for the Platform. In addition, the Action Plan on Climate Change in the Alps, adopted at the X Alpine Conference, also adopted at the X. Alpine Conference, contains several issues related to water management, such as, the reinforcement of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, the prevention of water shortages and the development of plants according to the ecology of watercourses. Moreover, the Action Plan requires prompt and collective action from the Contracting Parties of the Alpine Convention to limit the impact of climate change, particularly by developing guidelines for the construction, optimisation and rehabilitation of small hydroelectric power stations while respecting aquatic environments and biodiversity. In the Multi-Annual Work Programme water issues correspond to four of the priorities: Addressing climate change, Greening the economy, Biodiversity and EUSALP (AG6). 

In the 2016-2019 mandate period, two topics were addressed:

  1. How to face drought periods in the Alpine region: from analysis of climate data (rain/snow patterns and scenarios) to strategic planning;

  2. Follow-up on the guidelines on small hydropower: evaluation and further recommendations.

Furthermore, the proceedings of the conference on drought/water scarcity were drafted and spread together with an evaluation report on guideline on small hydropower.

Overview of activities, documents and results

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Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 6

Clean water and sanitation

Goal 7

Affordable and clean energy

Goal 8

Decent work and economic growth

Goal 9

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Goal 12

Responsible consumption and production

Goal 13

Climate action

Goal 15

Life on land

Goal 17

Partnerships for the goals


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