EurEau newsletter - edition 34 - March 2019
EurEau Annual Review 2018
We just published our Annual Report for 2018. If you would like to learn about our work last year or have a recap on the Drinking Water Directive, Water Reuse regulation, the Circular Economy or other water-related legislation, this will give you all you need to know.
We also look forward to what 2019 will bring us!
Green week 2019
We will participate in the European Commission’s Green Week 2019, first through encouraging people to drink more water, by hosting water cocktails at a reception on 15 May. Secondly, EurEau President Bruno Tisserand will moderate a session on Thursday morning on fertilisers.
You can read more here. Registration opens closer to the event dates.
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 ‘no dig’ technology for laying pipes in Oslo.
Commission publishes the PiE strategy
The Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment presented by the Commission on 11 March, identifies six action areas that the Commission will target that will better protect the environment.
We are pleased that the proposed strategy is looking at the full life cycle of pharmaceuticals and that the Commission highlights knowledge gaps. More...
Drinking Water Directive
The European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on the Drinking Water Directive by a simple vote on the 28 March.
The Plenary confirmed the Dantin report adopted in October 2018.
On 5 March 2019, the Environment Council adopted a General Approach on the Drinking Water Directive without any changes. The Council preliminary position is available here.
The positions of the two co-legislators should be the basis for the trilogue negotiations under the next European Parliament’s term.
We wrote about the developments earlier in the month here.
WFD Fitness check
We answered to the additional consultation on the fitness check of the Water Framework Directive and the Flood Directive thanks to the contribution of our JWG on WFD.
Joint position on FaST
We co-signed a joint position supporting the inclusion of a farm nutrient management tool (FaST or equivalent) in the CAP proposals. The statement was sent to the European Parliament, Council (Member States) and the European Commission and is available online at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/regulatory.
Nitrates Directive: EU court authorises individual court action
The advocate general of the EU Court of Justice ruled that both individuals and public bodies affected by nitrate pollution in their groundwater have the right to go to courts in order to trigger stronger actions by public authorities. Reacting to a dispute between the Austrian government and a group of claimants (individuals, public water supplier, local authorities) AG Juliane Kokott stated that claimants cannot be “denied of any right to bring proceedings” under Article 2 of the Aarhus Convention. She stressed that measures taken under the Nitrates Directive “must seek to prevent or eliminate a nitrate level of more than 50 mg/l in groundwater” provided agricultural sources make a “significant contribution” to the nitrate pollution.
Glyphosate: Scientific safety review in preparation
A group of four countries (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) form the new Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG), leading the scientific assessment of this highly controversial pesticide. AGG is expected to submit its report to EFSA in 2021.
SDGs Conference – World Water Day 2019
The University of Thessaloniki, under the auspices of UNESCO, organised a conference on the World Water Day, 22 March 2019, to discuss the achievement of the SDG6.
Carla Chiaretti, from the Secretariat, spoke on behalf of EurEau, conveying the main conclusions of the EurEau 2017 Bilbao Congress.
SUP directive: Parliament gives final green light
The European Parliament’s plenary meeting of 27 March approved the text agreed with Member States for the Single-Use Plastics Directive. Regarding wet wipes, the directive will require labelling and awareness raising campaigns and introduce extended producer responsibility.
WATenERgy in Sofia
The Bulgarian water Association hosted a conference on Water and Energy on 6 March in Sofia, as part of the WATenERgy in the Balkans project. The interventions focussed on the state of water and energy in Bulgaria; challenges and opportunities, storm water management, asset management and the future. Caroline Greene from the EurEau secretariat presented the latest in EU level water legislation news.
The conference was held around the next phase of the WATenERgy project, where participants gave updates on their pilot projects to improve water efficiency and residence in the region.
The EU Commission called on several countries to address various infringements of environmental laws pertaining to water resources and treatment in March. There is more information here.
EBC benchmarking exercise
Registration for EBCs' International Benchmarking Exercise for water- and waste water utilities in Europe is open. More info and registration here. Joining the EBC-programme is a commitment to assess, learn and improve!
Call for Leadership and Experts
Women and water days!
It was international women’s day on 8 March, so we spoke to a couple of our female water CEOs about their experiences in the water sector. You can read more here.
Our trainee, Cassandra Carr Kaljo, participated in a European Parliament panel for Women’s Day about Women in Politics and voting in the upcoming European Elections. You can watch her in action here.
And on 22 March, we celebrated World Water Day, on the theme of ‘no one gets left behind’. Read about what European water operators are doing to ensure we all have access to safe and clean water.
Connecting policy and practitioners
Bertrand will be part of a panel discussion in the event ‘BridgeOverWater – connecting science and policy’ on 16 May. This half-day event aimed at bridging the gap between science, policy and practitioners in the water sector.
Free tap water – grassroots in Belgium
A grassroots initiative is growing legs in Belgium, encouraging more restaurants to give free tap water. Read more on Facebook.
Out n About
EurEau Secretary General Oliver Loebel was at the ‘Fat, Oil, and Grease’ (FOG) Conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday, March 6.
He also spoke at the Thematic Workshop on water security of the Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies, hosted by DG HOME on 27 March.
On March 28, Oliver was in Malta to meet with our member there, the Water Services Corporation. This visit included a meeting with Joe Mizzi, the Maltese Minister for Energy and Water Management, participation in a panel discussion on sustainable development and meetings with staff members of the Water Services Corporation.
Bertrand Vallet was at the Water JPI SAG Meeting at the Embassy of the Republic South Africa on Wednesday, February 27.
9 April 2019 - Inspired by Nature: Combining Natural and Engineered Systems in Water Management; Berlin, Germany.
15-16 April 2019 - The Forum for Environmental Protection, hosted by the Polish IGWP and the support of MEP Jerzy Buzek, is devoted to the circular economy. EurEau President Bruno Tisserand present examples of already implemented solutions that can be found in Europe. http://fos.igwp.org.pl/#
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.
4-5 July 2019 – Sustainable bio-based surfactants conference in Paris, France, with EurEau President Bruno Tisserand speaking.
22-27 July 2019 - 5th distance education e-learning Summer School on "Wastewater and Biosolids Management" (WWSS19); Patras, Greece.
11-23 August 2019 - Advanced Water Cycle Management Course; Aarhus, Denmark.
9-13 September 2019 - 10th IAHS International Groundwater Quality Conference (GQ2019); Liège, Belgium.
12-18 September 2019 – SMART-Plant. More at http://www.smart-plant.eu/.
23-25 September 2019 - This years Nordiwa conference takes place in Helsinki. Read more here.
6-8 October 2019 - ECSM, European Conference on Sludge Management, Liège, Belgium.
28 November 2019 - Second International Conference on Risk Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (ICRAPHE); Barcelona, Spain.