Water resources are unevenly distributed in Europe. Annual average run-off
ranges from 3 000 mm in western Norway to 100-400 mm over much of central
Europe and less than 25 mm in central and southern Spain (ETC/WTR 2001).
Traditionally, most European countries rely more on surface water than
on groundwater, which is often used only for public water supply (EEA
1999a, Eurostat 1997). Data for assessing water quantity trends are rather
poor but relatively good for water quality. Water pollution is a serious
issue throughout Europe. Though some progress has been made in pollution
reduction in Western Europe, the situation is less promising in Central
and Eastern Europe (CEE).
Water stress in Europe (withdrawals as % of renewable
Water stress occurs in parts of Europe, notably
in the irrigated areas of CEE and the highly industrialized countries
of Western Europe
Source: compiled from UNDP, UNEP, World Bank
and WRI 2000