The European Federation of Bottled Water (EFBW) and EurEau have re-emphasised the need to assess the potential consequences of hydraulic fracturing on their respective industries.
The two organisations, which represent the European water and bottled water sectors, have particularly underlined the need to protect underground water resources from hydraulic fracturing, which is a method of shale gas exploitation.
“Underground water resources are a vital, precious and limited resource,” EFBW and EurEau said in a joint statement. All measures must be taken to guarantee their availability and their quality – whether intended for public supply or for the bottling of mineral and spring waters – for the generations to come, they added.
Their position was communicated on the occasion of EFBW’s conference in Spa, Belgium, which was held yesterday.
EFBW president Jean-Pierre Deffis said: “EFBW and EurEau welcome the European Commission’s ongoing efforts to assess the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing. We strongly believe that specific binding provisions must be adopted at EU level, including the prohibition of hydraulic fracturing activities in catchment areas around underground water resources. This is of particular importance for natural mineral waters, which by law must demonstrate ‘original purity’ and may not be chemically treated.”
In their joint statement, the two organisations added: “Whilst unconventional fossil fuels are already commercially vastly exploited in some parts of the world, particularly in North America, only limited exploration operations have taken place in the European Union. It is therefore the moment to assess the risks associated with shale gas exploitation via hydraulic fracturing… and make sure an adequate regulatory framework is in place before exploration and exploitation activities are further developed.”
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