EurEau newsletter - May 2022
Catch up on the latest European water news here!
EurEau Annual Report 2021
The EurEau Annual Report 2021 is published. We covered a lot of ground last year, from drinking water, PFAS, plastics, waste water, taxonomy to innovation all being high on our agenda.
EurEau welcomes new Ukrainian member
EurEau welcomes Ukrvodokanal as an associate member, bringing our membership to 35 members in 30 countries. Read more…
Water utilities across Europe are working with Ukrainian and other colleagues to bring safe water and sanitation services to people on both sides of the border. Here is the contribution of the French sector and also from Irish Water.
EurEau nominates a new Vice President
EurEau nominated Pär Dalhielm (Svenskt Vatten) as Vice President. Read more…
We are hiring!
We are hiring a policy advisor. The deadline for applications is 12 June. More…
First face-to-face meetings take place!
Following the in-person Executive Committee meeting in Seville in April, we are continuing with more in-life encounters.
The EurEau Network of Communications Managers met in Berlin (5-6 May) to discuss common issues and visit a water pumping station and a rain water management project in the city.
Our committees are also holding their first in-person meetings in over two years, with EU3 convening in Rotterdam on 8-9 June, EU2 meeting in Delft on 9-10 June and EU1 gathering in Barcelona on 13-14 June.
Preventing pesticide pollution
Preventing pesticide pollution will help achieve Zero Pollution while protecting people and planet. Read our opinion piece here. The Commission is expected to publish the proposal of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation on 22 June.
Anders Finnson represented EurEau at the second session of the annual meeting of the MEP Interest Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) that took place online on Tuesday, 17 May from 16.20 to 17.20 CEST.
Oliver Loebel spoke at the Regulate project board meeting on 25 May.
Looking ahead, Bertrand will moderate the session ‘Nutrient recovery operating experience technology showcase’ at the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform conference on 20-22 June 2022 in Vienna, Austria.
Oliver will speak at the UNECE regional workshop on equitable access to water and sanitation ‘New policy developments, impacts of COVID-19, and options to ensure affordability’ on 13-14 June 2022.
Oliver will jointly moderate with the WHO the session on ‘Risk Based Approaches in Drinking Water Regulation’ at the 2022 Water Safety Conference (22-24 June in Narvik, Norway).
UWWTD: proposal due Q3
The Commission is putting its final touches on the draft revised directive. While the detailed requirements are still unknown, we can expect a need for substantial additional investments.
The Directive concerns the collection, treatment and discharge of urban waste water as well as the treatment and discharge of waste water from certain industrial sectors.
Bathing Water Directive: possible extension of scope
In the latest workshop on the Impact Assessment it appears that the European Commission is in favour of extending the scope of the Directive to recreational water and to increase the frequency of sampling. This will be discussed at the next expert group meeting on 16 June.
The BWD requires Member States to monitor and assess the bathing water for at least two parameters of (faecal) bacteria. In addition, they must inform the public about bathing water quality and beach management.
Water and agriculture
SAIO Regulation: Member States block future-proof rules in Trilogue
Trilogue negotiations for the Statistics on Agricultural Input and Output (SAIO) Regulation remain difficult. As the latest ‘Four-column-document’ (a working document that is used as a basis for discussion during informal trialogues between the Council, European Commission and European Parliament) shows, Member States may accept annual data collections for pesticide use, but only from 2028 and only at NUTS2 level. This means that public authorities and drinking water suppliers will not be able to use this data for drinking water supply risk management.
EurEau signed a letter supported by 76 organisations calling on the negotiators to support an ambitious regulation.
The SAIO aims to modernise EU agricultural statistics undertaken by the European Commission (Eurostat) in close cooperation with Member States.
Sustainable food systems: Commission launches public consultation
As announced in its Farm-to-fork Strategy, the Commission has initiated work on a proposal for a legislative framework for sustainable food systems. It will be adopted by the Commission by the end of 2023. The Public Consultation will run until 21 July 2022.
This law will cover the full value chain from farming to consumption, including the pollution of soil and water and the unsustainable use of water resources.
Water and the environment
EQSD: legislative proposal on the List of Pollutants due Q3
On the EQSD/Groundwater Directive List of Pollutants, the legislative proposal is expected in September 2022.
The EQSD sets out environmental quality standards (EQSs) concerning the presence in surface water of certain substances or groups of substances identified as priority pollutants because of the significant risk they pose to or via the aquatic environment.
Microplastics: EurEau contribution
We submitted our contribution to the public consultation. This public consultation aims to support the European Commission’s initiative on microplastic pollution – legislative measures to reduce impacts on the environment. This initiative focuses on microplastics that are unintentionally released into the environment.
IED: rapporteurs appointed
The European Commission published the draft revised Industrial Emissions Directive in April.
In the parliament, Radan Kanev (EPP) has been appointed rapporteur in the ENVI (lead) committee and Benoit Lutgen (EPP) will be the shadow rapporteur for the AGRI opinion.
REACH: topics of the targeted revision
The ongoing preparation of the targeted revision of Europe’s chemicals Regulation - REACH - will determine the way chemicals are regulated for years to come.
We continue to follow topics under REACH that are undergoing consultations. We support the extension of the generic approach to risk management (GRA, which is based on hazard properties and generic exposure) to other hazard classes and we are advocating the inclusion of very mobile and persistent hazardous classes (PMT and vPvM) into this.
The REACH Regulation aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals.
Energy files: Parliament committee publishes amendments on ETS
In the European Parliament, the ENVI committee voted on the compromise amendments on the ETS. The amendments propose the inclusion of municipal waste incineration by 1 January 2026, depending on an impact assessment. The ETS includes municipal waste incineration installations. We are working with MEPS to ensure that whenever sewage sludge is managed together with municipal waste, the sludge will not be covered by the ETS. The file will be voted on in Plenary between 6-9 June.
The EU ETS is a cornerstone of the EU's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively.
REPowerEU: Commission presents plan
The European Commission presented the REPowerEU Plan (18 May), its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It aims to end the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuel, and tackle the climate crisis.
This initiative comes on top of the Fit for 55 Package and intends to speed up the objectives and targets in it. REPowerEU re-allocates €3billion to energy savings, to diversifying energy supplies and to accelerating the rollout of renewable energy generation, including the EU Solar Strategy, heat pump systems, hydrogen and the Biomethane Action Plan by 2030. Most of this is diverted from the Recovery and Resilience Funds. Some money will be given to hydrogen research projects.
Taxonomy: reports and actions
The Taxonomy report on the ‘Enabling activities’ and relative TSCs (like desalination) by the Sustainable Finance Platform that was due to be published in May is now expected in June.
Zero Pollution: stakeholder meeting
Following the 25 April meeting, we sent comments on the work programme of the platform in early May.
The European Commission held a workshop of its Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform on 24 May, themed on Zero Pollution Monitoring and Outlook. We support control at source measures and the necessity to address pollutants in water as a whole. EurEau President, Dr Claudia Castell-Exner and JWG WFD Chairperson, Anders Finnson, represent EurEau in this platform.
Restriction on Hazardous Substances: water sector needs clarity
The revision of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive in electric and electronic equipment is ongoing. The public consultation will close today (2 June).
We will ask that mercury-containing UV lamps used in the disinfection and treatment of drinking water and waste water be excluded from the scope of the Directive.
The RoHS Directive aims to prevent the risks posed to human health and the environment related to the management of electronic and electrical waste. It does this by restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in EEE that can be substituted by safer alternatives. We support the Directive as it provides protection for water resources.
The Detergents Regulation lays down specific rules for placing detergents on the EU market.
We submitted our answer to the public consultation. As water service providers, operators have to deal with the remnants of detergents in waste water before they re-enter the environment. The revision of this regulation provides an opportunity to restrict the use of phosphorous in industrial detergents and therefore its treatment at the WWTP. However, the environmental impact of any proposed replacement chemical should be assessed to ensure it is not hazardous or a PMT/vPvMT substance.
Environmental Liability: Commission revised legal framework
The Commission is revising the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) with the goal to strengthen its application. Following the call for evidence, a public consultation has been opened (deadline: 4 August 2022).
The directive implements the Polluter Pays Principle for environmental damage or imminent threat (including to water) caused by a number of industrial activities. Other activities are covered whenever the operator has been at fault or negligent.
Water as an essential service
NIS2 Directive: Parliament and Member States agree on cyber-security rules
The EU co-legislators have provisionally agreed the final text of the Directive for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union (the so-called NIS2 Directive). It will set far-reaching requirements for governments and critical entities. Over the coming weeks, the compromise will be formally approved by the EU Parliament and the Council.
The NIS2 Directive aims to achieve a high level of security of network and information systems across the EU.
Ukraine: volunteers wanted for a post-invasion recovery
Operators Without Borders and IGWP will organise an online training for volunteers to one day go and help Ukraine’s water sector recover from the Russian invasions.
The training will be on 8 June at 15h CET. It takes 3 hours and can have up to 100 participants.
Aquawal reminds us all why and how to capture and reuse rainwater. Read https://www.aquawal.be/fr/11-05-2022-mai-2022-c-est-le-moment-de-remettre-de-l-eau-dans-votre-citerne-d-eau-de-pluie-on-vous-explique-pourquoi.html?IDC=480&IDD=9525">more…
ERM Coalition launches Groundwater Memorandum
The European River Memorandum Coalition (ERM) has launched its Groundwater Memorandum calling for the sustainable qualitative and quantitative protection of this precious resource. It follows the European River Memorandum launched in 2020.
The coalition calls for restrictions on PMT substances and strict drinking water-related target values in the Water Framework Directive and Groundwater Directive.
The ERM Coalition brings together 170 water suppliers from the Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Meuse and Scheldt river basins.
News from our members
Report: A Leakage Routemap to 2050
The Leakage Routemap sets out how water companies in England plan to significantly reduce leakage by 2050.
The ambitious Routemap provides a framework for companies to meet their commitment to triple the rate of leakage reduction by 2030 and halve leakage by 2050. The 2030 target was set out in the 2019 Public Interest Commitment while the 2050 pledge has been endorsed by the National Infrastructure Committee. More…
30 May – 5 June 2022 – Green Week; Brussels, Belgium and online. The theme is ‘Green Deal: make it real’. More…
8-9 June 2022 – Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2022; Helsinki, Finland and online. More…
20-22 June 2022 - 4th European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, Vienna & hybrid ww.phosphorusplatform.eu/espc4.
19-22 June 2022 – Water Loss Conference, Prague, Czechia. www.waterloss2022.org
22-24 June 2022 - Water Safety Conference in Narvik, Norway. More.
30 June – 1 July 2022 – Water and Sewage in the Circular Economy Model; Krakow, Poland More…
23 August – 1 September 2022 – World water Week, Stockholm, Sweden. Registration is now open. More…
12-15 September 2022 - LuWQ2022, 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land use and water quality: Agriculture and the Environment; Maastricht, The Netherlands.
22-27 September 2022 – sixth conference on the Environmental Dimension of Antibiotic Resistance (EDAR6); Gothenburg, Sweden. More…
26-29 September 2022 – 20th Europe-INBO International Conference; Annecy, France More…
27-28 October 2022 - Management of water and sewerage infrastructure in the context of resource reduction and depletion; Bucharest, Romania. More…