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EurEau newsletter - October 2022

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EurEau News

EurEau Annual Congress; Valletta 2022

It was great to see so many of our members at the EurEau Annual Congress in Valletta between October 12-14. A big thank you to Water Services Corporation for hosting us.

As well as meetings and a site visit, we held a plenary conference themed on the way to energy independence – new challenges for the European water sector with the European Commission’s Director for Zero Pollution, Veronica Manfredi and Miriam Dalli, the Maltese Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development. You can read about the conference here.


EurEau welcomes the Latvian Water and Wastewater Works Association (LWWWWA) as a member

We are very proud to welcome the Latvian Water and Wastewater Works Association (LWWWWA) to EurEau! 

LWWWA is an association of 50 water management and industry companies united with common interests and goals. The LWWWA brings the total number of EurEau members to 36 in 31 countries. 


EurEau Position Paper on the draft Industrial Emission Portal Regulation

EurEau supports major parts of the proposed Industrial Emission Portal Regulation, but calls for more clarity regarding ‘off-site transfer’ management. Easy access to data is paramount to facilitate the risk management of waste water operators. You can read more here.


Speaking out

Bertrand Vallet, EurEau Senior Policy Officer, was in Linköping, Sweden, for the Nordic Biogas Conference 2022 on 3-6 October, speaking about EU legislation on sludge and waste water.

Anders Finnson, chair of our Joint Working Group on the WFD spoke at the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment and EPR on 11 October, in Brussels.

Mark Sklivaniotis (Greece) represented us at the European Commission Drinking Water Expert Group on leakage (13 October, online).

We were also represented at the Union for the Mediterranean/EU high level conference on climate change and water finance and investment policies (pre-COP 27 event), Cairo, Egypt, on 17 October (online), when Oliver Loebel, EurEau Secretary General, took the (virtual) floor.

The following day, Oliver will spoke at the Swiss/Baden-Württemberg workshop on micropollutant removal, Friedrichshafen, Germany (18 October, online).

Oliver will speak at the Pharmaceuticals in the Environment Conference taking place in the European Parliament, Brussels on 8 November.

Caroline Greene, EurEau Senior Communications Manager, will join a panel discussion at the Tallinn Water Treatment Plant 95th anniversary conference on 1 December.

Pär Dalhielm, EurEau Vice President, will represent us at the high-level Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform on 14 December in Brussels.


EU news

Legislative developments

Commission Work Program 2023 published

The European Commission published its annual work programme this month. The work programme sets out its key initiatives for the year ahead and informs citizens how the Commission will deliver on their political priorities.

For EurEau, the most relevant news is that:

- the European critical raw materials act will come in early 2023

- the Healthy Soils Initiative is likely to come in Q2 2023

- the revision of food waste and textiles aspects of the EU Waste Framework Directive will happen in Q2

- the legislative framework for sustainable food systems is set for Q3

-  REACH is postponed to Q4

- the revision of Textile Labelling Regulation is expected for Q4 2023.

Still to come in 2022 is the policy framework for bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics (30/11).


Water legislation

UWWTD: Proposal published

EurEau cautiously welcomes the legislative proposal of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD), which opens the door to better protect human health and the environment and encourages the waste water sector to be climate and energy neutral.

The legislation is positive in many respects. We are pleased to see the inclusion of Control at Source but it doesn’t go far enough in realising Extended Producer Responsibility schemes to address quaternary treatment for micro-pollutants.

Delivering the challenge put to us today by the Commission will require financing of the necessary upgrades to our infrastructure over the next 30 years and the will to coordinate resources to deliver the directive’s ambitions.

You can read our full press release here.

The UWWT 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.


EFSA/ECHA Guidance document on the impact of water treatment processes on residues of active substances: EurEau submits comments

EurEau has submitted comments to the public consultation on the guidance document that outlines which environmental water residues have to be assessed, the identification of water treatment transformation products that are formed and how to complete a risk assessment that includes consumption of treated drinking water. The document will be used to assess decisions concerning the approval of active substances (AS) that are chemicals in plant protection products (PPP) and biocidal products (BP) and authorisation of the products, but it is not intended for BP used in drinking water.

EurEau supports this initiative that is meant to protect water resources from PPP and BP pollution so that tap water remains safe and affordable and the right to water is not jeopardised.

The guidance document covers all commonly used water treatment methods across Europe, thus considering worst-case approaches at several levels, in line with the precautionary principle.


Bathing Water Directive: upcoming conference

A conference will take place on 24 November in Brussels to confirm the conclusion of the BWD evaluation and propose the planning for the revision. We will be represented by Ronan Kane (Ireland). The conference is open to the members and observers of the Bathing Water Expert Group.

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

Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation: EurEau calls for more ambition  

Following the presentation of the draft Regulation on June 2022, EurEau adopted its position, calling for the better protection of drinking water resources and more coherence with the Drinking Water Directive and the Water Framework Directive. Many Member States and parts of the European Parliament oppose the Regulation, in particular with regards to the definition of sensitive areas.

The regulation proposes EU wide targets to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030, in line with the EU’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.


Soil health Law: EurEau responds to public consultation

EurEau submitted its reaction to the Commission public consultation on the EU soil health law, announced for the second quarter of 2023. EurEau is supportive of this initiative, which should lead to the better protection of the quality and quantity of groundwater resources while strengthening the circularity of reclaimed water and nutrients recovered from waste water.

Soil health is crucial for achieving key objectives of the European Green Deal such as climate neutrality, biodiversity restoration, zero pollution, healthy and sustainable food systems and a resilient environment.


SAIO: Consultation on Implementing Regulation

A 4-week consultation is open on the draft Commission Implementing Regulation as regards the content and format of the records of plant protection products kept by professional users pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009.

EurEau supports this piece of legislation which complements the SAIO Regulation, as it will lead to the digitalisation of detailed pesticide application data that drinking water suppliers can use in the risk assessments.

The draft implementing Regulation and the consultation are here.

The Statistics of Agricultural Input and Output Regulation (SAIO) aims to modernise EU agricultural statistics undertaken by Eurostat in close cooperation with Member States.


Water and the environment

Environmental Quality Standards: proposal published

The Commission published the draft Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) Directive on 26 October. We will not challenge the proposed limit values, but we will ask for control at source. We reacted.


Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP): feedback submitted

We submitted feedback to the draft delegated regulation amending the CLP. We welcome the introduction of new hazard classes, especially PMT (persistent, mobile, toxic) and vPvM (very persistent,very mobile) that will allow persistent and mobile substances to be classified and designated as hazardous and eventually lead to restricting/phasing out their use under REACH as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) in order to protect our health and water resources.

The proposal could have been more ambitious, since the proposed mobility criteria do not cover all relevant substances for drinking water supply.

The objective of this Regulation should be to determine which properties of substances and mixtures should lead to a classification as hazardous to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment as well as the free movement of substances, mixtures and articles.


IED & IE Portal Regulation

We published our position paper on the Industrial Emission Portal Regulation. We support major parts of it but call for more clarity regarding ‘off-site transfer’ management. Easy access to data is paramount to facilitate the risk management of waste water operators. You can read more here.


Water as an essential service

Critical infrastructures: Commission proposes Council recommendation

The Commission proposed a Recommendation to strengthen the resilience of EU critical infrastructure. The related five-point plan focuses on enhancing preparedness, working with Member States with a view to stress test their critical infrastructure; increasing the response capacity; making good use of satellite capacity to detect potential threats; and strengthening cooperation with NATO and key partners. The priority sectors are energy, digital infrastructure, transport and space.

The proposed recommendation is here.

The Commission called for the accelerated implementation of the Directive on the resilience of critical infrastructure (CER Directive) and the Revised Directive on the security of network and information systems (NIS2 Directive), both of which should be adopted in the very near future. 


Critical Raw Material Act: call for evidence

There is a call for evidence and a public consultation ongoing with a deadline of 25 November. We would like to see the scope of the act extended to all products used by critical entities like water services to ensure continuity of services. Even if phosphorus is already on the Critical Raw Materials list we can support maintaining it there and support the inclusion of other products.

This initiative will aim to reinforce EU monitoring capacities and strengthen both the EU value chain – through the identification of mineral resources and raw materials projects in the EU's strategic interest, with strong environmental protection – and EU external policies on CRMs.


Other news

Dumping of sewage sludge at sea to be prohibited worldwide

Parties to the treaties which regulate the dumping of wastes at sea have adopted an amendment to ensure that the dumping of sewage sludge at sea would be prohibited worldwide.

The amendment to the London Protocol will remove sewage sludge from the list of permissible wastes - wastes which may be considered for dumping at sea. Read more


Guaranteeing the rights to safe water worldwide: EP adopts resolution

The European Parliament adopted a resolution wherein they called on the EU and Member States to do more to guarantee the rights to safe drinking water and sanitation worldwide. They are asking the EU to “promote protection mechanisms at international, regional and national level” to make sure that the right to clean water is “not optional for states, but an enforceable right.” They also call for prioritising support for the provision of drinking water and sanitation in EU funding and aid programming.


Water for Denmark and the world

Water is a vital resource but rising water shortages and pollution are putting water under pressure the world over. The latest key figures from the Danish water companies, Water in Figures 2022, produced by the Danish Water and Wastewater Association (DANVA), provides an overview of the performances of water companies regarding water quality, water loss, energy consumption and discharges into the aquatic environment.



10 November 2022 - Drinking water: from resource protection to consumption, Liege, Belgium. More

16 November 2022 – How can EPR promote sustainable consumption and production? Hybrid event/Brussels. Registration

18 November 2022 - Digitalising urban waters: lessons learnt from the cities of Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Paris and Sofia; online. More

22 November 2022 - BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues - Artificial Intelligence: Reshaping the Water Industry; online. More

29 November 2022 - 2  December - IWA Digital Water Summit, Bilbao, Spain. Programme; more and more

28-30 November 2022 - International Conference on Ozone and Advance Oxidation. Science, Technologies and applications for a better world; Toulouse, France. More

5-7 December 2022 - Strategies toward Green Deal Implementation – Water, Raw Materials & Energy (online). More

17-18 January 2023 - 2nd Summit of the Organic and organo-mineral Fertilisers Industries in Europe; Brussels, Belgium. More

5-7 September 2023 – NORDIWA call for abstracts for the conference to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden. More on LinkedIn

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