Climate change is leading to increased water scarcity and drought in many parts of the world. This has implications for the European Union (EU) because a lot of the goods consumed or used in the EU are produced abroad. This makes its economy dependent on water resources from beyond its borders.

As part of the IMPREX project, a work package entitled “Water Economy” has been mapping the EU’s global dependency on water resources outside its borders and assessing how water scarcity, drought, floods and climate change may disrupt supplies of key food crops that it imports. This information reveals where vulnerabilities to the EU’s food security and economic stability lie and identifies which food products may become more expensive or harder to find in Europe in the near and longer-term future.

A new policy brief by the project, entitled “A new dimension in EU’s Climate Adaptation Policy: EU’s vulnerability to climate change impacts outside its borders”, highlights the EU’s dependencies on global water resources. The paper underlines the need to integrate vulnerabilities stemming from outside the EU’s borders into long-term EU climate adaptation policy and business planning.

This policy summary is written by Dr. Ertug Ercin with contributions from Annika Kramer (adelphi) and Riikka Pohjankoski (Arctik). It provides an overview from first phase of “Water Economy” work package of the IMPREX project. This work package is led by FutureWater in collaboration with Dr. Ertug Ercin from R2Water.