European declaration on water


In October 1967, the Council of Europe adopted the EUROPEAN DECLARATION ON WATER, and formally issued in Strasbourg on 6 May 1968. It was a declaration of principles for the proper management of water, set forth in 12 articles::

  • 1.- There is no life without water. Water is a valuable resource that is essential for all human activity.

  • 2.- Water resources are not infinite. It is essential we conserve, control and, whenever possible, increase these.

  • 3.- Altering the quality of water puts mankind and all other living beings that depend on this in jeopardy.

  • 4.- Water quality must be suitable for its intended use and, above all, satisfy public health requirements..

  • 5.- When water is returned to its natural medium, after being used, it must not jeopardize any later uses, either public or private, it may have.

  • 6.- Maintaining adequate plant cover, preferably forests, is essential if we are to conserve water resources..

  • 7.- We must make an inventory of our water resources.

  • 8.- The correct administration of water resources should be laid down by the competent authorities6. Mantener la cubierta vegetal, sobre todo los bosques, es necesario para conservar los recursos del agua.

  • 9.- Conserving water resources will entail a large degree of scientific investigation, training specialists and public information.

  • 10. Water is our common heritage, and everyone should be aware of its value. Taking steps to save water and use it with care is everyone’s responsibility.

  • 11.- The administration of water resources should be carried out within the framework of the natural catchment area, preferably within administrative and political borders.

  • 12.- Water knows no frontiers. It is a common asset that requires international cooperation.