Inventory, Outlook and Assessment of Emerging Environmental Crimes against Water in Europe (WATER CRIMES)

Inventory, Outlook and Assessment of Emerging Environmental Crimes against Water in Europe (WATER CRIMES)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

SiTI Security and Safety Department

Overall project value

EUR 349,925


January 2016 – May 2017

Beneficiary countries

European Union

Number of staff


While awareness of environmental crimes is gaining momentum at international level, crimes against water are an emerging issue. Such crimes have significant impacts, although intelligence is scarce and information fragmented.

The WATER CRIMES project aims to advance knowledge in this field through four main activities:

  • Compiling an inventory of the various forms of crime that threaten water resources, water management, and the related supply chains and infrastructure.
  • Analysing the potential impacts of water crimes in Europe.
  • Developing a mid-term outlook of crime trends.
  • Developing policy recommendations and mitigation strategies.

The project will provide the first strategic analysis of crime-related risk in the water sector in Europe. The targeted results are:

  • Increased systematic knowledge of crimes, risks and threats related to water resources in Europe.
  • The collection of intelligence-led and practical information, cases on water crimes, and existing good practices in the investigation and prosecution of environmental crime across European countries.
  • A better understanding of the links between different forms of environmental, economic, and organised crime.
  • The first European Report on Water Security, expected in 2017.

Activities include:

  • Gathering data to provide an overview of water crimes in Europe through the collection, classification and clustering of relevant information.
  • Assessing threats and risks with respect to different types of environmental crimes in the water sector, in cooperation with police forces, local authorities, and water management public companies.
  • Predicting the outcome of possible criminal events related to the water sector and preparing policy recommendations.
  • Disseminating information and raising awareness of the Water Crimes initiative and facilitating the exploitation of results by police forces, water management professionals and decision makers.
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Information dissemination

Project Publications