EurEau newsletter - edition 33 - February 2019
Innovation in the European Water Sector
The European water sector is constantly innovating in order to bring consumers the best water services at the best price and better protect the environment.
Our 2018 Annual Congress in Cyprus showcased several of these. This month we are focussing on the innovative masterplan management in Wallonia.
Commission publishes WFD Compliance report
The 2027 deadline to meet environmental and pollution limits for Europe’s rivers and lakes will most likely not be met, according to a report from the European Commission published this week (26 February). More...
MEPs demand 30% of CAP payments go to eco-schemes
Meeting earlier this month, the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee agreed that at least 30% of direct payments in the next CAP should go to schemes that support EU climate and the environmental objectives.
We were pleased that the committee included several of our amendments in their report.
ENVI also amended the objectives of the proposed CAP to include reduced use of pesticides.
The AGRI Committee will vote in early March, and the Plenary will vote in April, just before the European elections.
European Parliament sees sense on water reuse
The European Parliament voted to make water reuse a workable reality in its mid-February plenary vote.
We are relieved that the proposed amendment to hold reclamation facility operators liable for any possible contamination was rejected.
The Regulation on Minimum Requirements for Water Reuse sets out the quality of water destined to be reused in agricultural irrigation and the requirements that need to be put in place for safe water reuse ensuring human health and environmental protection.
And our piece in advance of the vote.
More information on the EurEau position here.
Drinking Water Directive
2019 started with an acceleration of the Council’s work on the DWD under the Romanian Presidency with meetings at a technical level taking place in February. The member States Ambassadors to the EU discussed the proposal in the COREPER on 22 February. Member States are still supporting the attempt to adopt a General Approach at the Environment Council on the 5 March 2019. The compromise text is likely to evolve. You can watch the web-streaming here.
This preliminary Council position will be the basis for the trialogue negotiations with the European Parliament under the next legislature 2019-2024.
The Competitiveness Council met on 19 February to discuss the details of Horizon Europe.
The Council agreed that the Missions areas (this is a new instrument in Horizon Europe to meet specific societal challenges) proposed by the Romanian Presidency were balanced and would be a basis for a political agreement. The list of missions areas in the presidency paper are:
- Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation
- Healthy Oceans and Natural Waters
- Carbon-Neutral and Smart Cities
- Soil Health for sustainable food.
It is very positive to see that a specific mission is dedicated to water. We look forward to seeing what the content of the mission will be.
PSI Directive: Co-legislators agree on final text
The EU Parliament and Member States reach agreement on the Open Data and Public Sector Information Directive. It only covers public sector content that can be accessed under national access to document rules. “Public undertakings” were added to the directive with more limited obligations.
An implementing act will be proposed listing datasets such as geospatial or statistics data that ought to be free of charge. Costs can be recovered for other data.
The directive will be formally approved over the next weeks.
Pesticides: MEPs want reform of regulation
In the wake of the controversial re-authorisation of glyphosate, the European Parliament approved a resolution calling on the Commission to improve the pesticides approval procedure. The key objectives are to increase transparency, avoid conflicts of interest and ensure a greater role for public authorities.
Bruno Tisserand spoke on 27 February in Madrid at the International Water Conference on water challenges in Europe.
DANVA win for protection zones
Denmark will ban the use of pesticides in all drinking water well vicinity protection zones.
Implementation of pesticide-free areas will significantly enhance the protection of drinking water supply and avoid contamination that would otherwise have affected drinking water in Denmark.
The agreement provides a time frame of 3 years for municipalities to work out arrangements with landowners to cease using pesticides near drinking water extraction wells. In the absence of such voluntary arrangements, the municipalities are required to issue a ban on all use of pesticides.
20-24 May 2019 – Internation symposium on Aquafier Recharge; Madrid, Spain.
28-31 May 2019 - 4th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference: working together to prepare for future; Lisbon, Portugal.
22-27 July 2019 - 5th distance education e-learning Summer School on "Wastewater and Biosolids Management" (WWSS19); Patras, Greece.
9-13 September 2019 - 10th IAHS International Groundwater Quality Conference (GQ2019); Liège, Belgium.
23-25 September 2019 - This year, the Nordiwa conference takes place in Helsinki 23-25 September 2019. Read more here.
6-8 October 2019 - ECSM, European Conference on Sludge Management, Liège, Belgium.