Agricultural policy is important for EUWMA members. EUWMA therefore actively participated in the discussions preceding the European Common Agricultural Policy (2014-2020). The EU member states determine the CAP at EU level and implement the policy.
The CAP aims to support farmers’ incomes, while also encouraging them to produce high quality products demanded by the market and to seek new development opportunities, such as renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources. EUWMA was in contact with policymakers during the formulation of the CAP post 2013 and, at its 2011 annual meeting in Cambridge, it drafted a position on the policy.
EUWMA members emphasised that the CAP post 2013 should:
- include more targeted measures to emphasise the commonalities and win-win-options between agriculture and water management;
- encourage and fund networking and cooperation between interested parties to improve the irrigation and flood risk that supports rural needs – e.g. water level management such as resource-saving irrigation and flood storage payments for farmers, and other techniques for saving, storing and controlling the risk from water whether in flood or drought. This support should fund EUWMA members to deliver these objectives through Pillar 2;
- recognise water as a major source of biodiversity. Cross-linked management between water managers and agriculture will result in benefits for biodiversity and agriculture;
- encourage self-governing and self-financing structures with local decision-making competences for EUWMA members. Local decision-making in water management will enhance the CAP’s ability to take into account regionally diverse conditions, and target common goods more efficiently.
- encourage the management of water on a catchment basis.