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EurEau newsletter - edition 46 - April 2020










EurEau News

Water and Covid-19

We hope that you are all keeping safe in these difficult times.

Water service providers across Europe are working hard to provide us all with safe and clean drinking water while ensuring effective waste water services. Flush only the 3P’s (pee, poop and toilet paper).

Our statement on water services and Covid-19 is here.

EU news

Roadmap: The EU and lifting the Covid-19 containment measures

The European Commission has proposed a Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures. After the European Council (23 April), the Commission was due to adopt a revised multi-annual financial framework (MMF) on Wednesday last (29 April). This MMF will focus on the recovery priorities of the recovery plan. It is slightly delayed and will be published soon.

Commission Work Programme 2020: Key measures postponed

The Commission will issue a revised Work Programme for 2020 re-prioritising the new initiatives amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The Farm to Fork Strategy that was supposed to be adopted at the end of March, will be adopted in the coming weeks, while the Climate Adaptation Strategy may be moved to the first half of 2021.

Drinking Water Directive: Final approval further postponed

Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the EU institutions are prioritising health and economic files.

The EU institutions lawyer-linguists are progressing on the DWD and Member States are checking the translations.

The final translated texts are expected in autumn 2020. The European Parliament Plenary is expected to vote on the final text then, with entry into force delayed until probably November/December 2020.

Water Framework Directive and water legislation: fitness check

The ENVI Committee of the European Parliament is drafting a motion for resolution and an oral question on the fitness check on water legislation. It is not public yet.

Water Reuse Regulation: vote in ENVI on 4 May

The European Council adopted its first reading agreement on the Water Reuse Regulation text on 7 April. The ENVI committee of the European Parliament will vote to adopt the second reading agreement on 4 May.

Industrial Emissions Directive: inception impact assessment published

The revision process of the IED was officially launched with the Commission’s publication of its inception impact assessment.

We submitted our feedback, focusing on source-control, the protection of water resources, PFAS and sewage sludge.

We support a revision of the Industrial Emission Directive in order to better implement it, improve the application of the Control at Source Principle, avoid overlaps and to enhance the water sectors participation in the Circular Economy. Any revision of the IED should also include requirements for the protection of water resources to avoid the deterioration in the quality of water bodies.

Fertiliser Regulation: door opener for sludge derived phosphorous

A delegated act was adopted incorporating the Strubias recommendations into the Fertiliser Regulation. The inter-service consultation is completed and the Commission will publish the act soon, and wait for reactions from the EP and Council. The timeline is not very clear because of the Covid-19 crisis but this should allow the delegated act to be applied at the same time as the regulation itself. This opens the door for phosphorous recovered from recovered nutrient from sewage sludge. With this delegated act, sewage sludge will be allowed as input material for precipitated phosphate salts (struvite) and “thermal oxidation materials” (ashes).

DG ENVI is also carrying out a study on contaminants in all fertilisers to assess their risk and the impact of a possible restriction for certain products under REACH. They had previously released a report on contaminants in composts and digestates.

Single Use Plastics Directive: implementation process continues

The stakeholder meeting of 3 April discussed the draft “guidance on identifying and describing the products covered by the SUP Directive”. No final decisions were communicated regarding the inclusion of fibres based on viscose or lyocell.

Co-legislators want negotiations on transitional CAP

Member States are ready to discuss the transitional legislation to maintain EU subsidies with the European Parliament, even without an agreement on the post-2020 reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The goal is to extend the current rules for at least a year, thus further postponing any additional greening measures.

Soon after, the European Parliament’s AGRI committee approved its own negotiating mandate proposing a two-year extension of the current rules.

Green Deal: activities and consultations

Despite Covid-19, a number of initiatives or ongoing around the key elements of the EU’s Green Deal:

Circular Economy Action Plan: mixed news for the water sector

The plan announces the development of an Integrated Nutrient Management Plan. If well designed, this could help the water sector exploit its nutrient recovery potential. As regards microplastics, the plan fails to focus on control-at-source measures, thus increasing the risk of end-of-pipe cleaning steps. Importantly, the Commission announces it will consider the revision of the UWWTD and the Sewage Sludge Directive.

The Committee of the Regions is drafting an opinion and its ENVE Committee is accepting written contributions from stakeholders until 29 May.

The plan is here.

Climate Change: Commission consultations ongoing

We are preparing our reaction to the Climate Pact public consultation (deadline: 27 May) and to the public consultation on the 2030 Targets – the deadline is 23 June.

Sustainable Chemicals Strategy: Parliament prepares proposals

The European Parliament is working on a motion for a resolution to accompany the drafting process of the Strategy by the Commission. MEPs’ proposals indicate that they would like the Strategy to consider the whole life cycle of chemical substances.

WFD Common Implementation Strategy

The European Commission and the consultants in the newly established WG Economics of the CIS met in early April. Member States and stakeholders, including EurEau, are also participating.

Evaluation: impact of the CAP on Water

DG AGRI published the Alliance Environment report “Evaluation of the Impact of the CAP on Water”. The report calls for stronger measures to protect the quality and quantity of water resources. A Commission Staff Working Document is planned to be published at the end of this year incorporating the evaluation of the impact of the CAP on water, evaluation of the impact of the CAP on soil and the evaluation of the impact of the CAP on habitats, landscapes and biodiversity.

Information videos on ISO30500 and 24521

ANSI, the US member of ISO has produced some information videos about ISO 30500 and ISO 24521.

Communications news

EurEau Communication Managers meet

Our communications managers from EurEau members met this week to discuss what we are doing to attract workers to the sector, keeping customers informed, and about some of the bigger stories of the year so far in water news.

Water and Covid-19

Mariano Blanco from AEAS wrote about the Spanish water providers response to the Covid-19 crisis and how the sector is working together at this time. You can read his article (in Spanish) here.


***All events are on hold for the time being. Please contact the event organiser for more information***

8-12 June 2020 - IWA’s Nutrient Recovery & Removal conference organised by Aalto University and HSY, Helsinki and Porvoo. Early bird is valid before mid March! Read more: www.iwa-nrr.org.

15-16 June 2020 - European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference, Vienna, Austria. The call for abstracts for presentations for the six parallel sessions is open. More…

3 July 2020 – Lisbon, Portugal. OSPAR Ministerial Meeting.

17-18 November 2020 - 3rd Water JPI Conference from in Mulheim an der Ruhr.

Postponed until week 30 November - 27-30 April 2020 - The International Water Association is co-organising the first IWA Digital Water Summit together with the Consorcio de Aguas Bilbao Bizkaia and AEAS in Bilbao, Spain.

More: https://digitalwatersummit.org/

25-28 May 2021 – CEOCOR; hosted by ÖVGW in Vienna, Austria.


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