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EurEau Newsletter - April 2024

EurEau News

Speaking out

Oliver Loebel, EurEau Secretary General was a panellist at the Towards Toxic Free Forum on 10 April (Brussels).

Eduardo Arozamena Ramos from Canal de Isabel II, Spain, spoke on our behalf at the AYSA webinar on ‘Trends in the use of Coagulants in Potable Water’ on 10 April.

Oliver Loebel addressed the mechanical contractors association GCP Europe on 29 April focusing on the safety of drinking water installations in buildings.

Our Spanish colleagues from AEAS responded to a request from the Latin American Association of Water and Sanitation Operators to present their experience with coagulants at a series of webinars in April.

Sébastien Mouret from the EurEau secretariat was on the panel for a discussion with MEP Manuela Ripa on the Soil Monitoring Law, at an event organised by PAN Europe and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) on 16 April.

Giordano Colarullo, former General Assembly Representative for Italy spoke on behalf of both Utilitalia and EurEau on ‘The Role of European Water Operators Associations in Europe’ at the Wareg event on 22 April.

Gari Villa-Landa from the secretariat participated in a roundtable organised under the MERLIN Project to discuss a sectoral strategy for the greater uptake of nature-based solutions in the water supply and sanitation sectors on 25 April.

We will participate in the EU’s Green Week, 29-30 May. More details in the ‘events’ section.

Brian Murphy, co-Chairperson of our JWG on Energy and Climate will represent us at the panel discussion on how the water and wastewater sector can increase resilient energy supply at the ResNRJwater event in Essen, Germany (11 June).

Harrie Timmer (Vewin, the Netherlands) will speak on behalf of EurEau at the PFAS Global 2024 virtual conference on 13 June.

Gari Villa-Landa will moderate a session at the 19th IWA Leading Edge Conference on Water and Wastewater Technologies (#iwaLET) between 24-28 June in Essen, Germany.


EU news

Water legislation

UWWTD: end in sight

The European Parliament Plenary voted and adopted the Trilogue agreement on the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive on 10 April. Due to the corrigendum procedure, the final text will not be formally approved and published before autumn.

You can read our reaction here.


DWD: Secondary legislation published on materials in contact with drinking water

The delegated and implementing acts setting requirements for materials in contact with drinking water were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 23 April, and will apply from the end of 2026.


Water and agriculture

CAP: Parliament votes to weaken environmental protection measures

The European Parliament’s plenary approved a Commission proposal to ‘simplify certain CAP rules’ amid farmers’ protests in many EU countries. 

The measure will weaken or make voluntary several ‘Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions’ (GAECs) under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Furthermore, Member States no longer need to align CAP strategic plans with the latest environmental policies.

We regret this decision, which will further weaken the protection of drinking water resources from agricultural pollution. We find it unacceptable that the Commission proposal was put forward without any impact assessment.


Nitrates Directive: consultation launched

The Commission launched a consultation (deadline 17 May) on a draft act to amend Annex III of the Nitrates Directive, which would increase the limit of nitrates from RENURE (recovered nitrogen from Manure) fertilisers in nitrates-vulnerable zones.


Soil Monitoring Directive: Plenary vote falls short on improvement ambitions

The position adopted by the European Parliament this week on the proposed Soil Monitoring & Resilience Directive stripped the text of key tools to improve the condition of EU soils. The resulting first-reading position provides a decent basis for monitoring and assessing soil health but we are disappointed that it fails to take the extra steps needed to trigger concrete change.

Read EurEau’s full reaction here.


Water and the environment

Environmental Quality Standards (WFD/GWD/EQSD revision)

While the Belgian presidency aims to finalise the Council’s general approach to the revision of water pollutant rules by the end of June, the Parliament formally adopted a Legislative Resolution on the text on 24 April. While no changes were made to the contents of the Parliament’s position, the move aims to make it more difficult for the next legislature to change its mind after the elections.


Microplastics pollution: Commission proposal to prevent pellet losses to reduce microplastics

The European Parliament Plenary debated the Commission’s proposal to prevent pellet losses to reduce microplastics on 22 April and voted and adopted the first reading on 23 April.

We strongly support the European Commission’s proposal, which will allow for a regulatory framework implementing control at source for a relevant part of microplastics unintentionally released into the environment, and it will contribute to protecting water resources.

The Council is currently discussing it.


Ecodesign for textiles: comments submitted

The Commission tasked the Joint Research Centre (JRC) with the development of potential ecodesign (later: ecolabel and green public procurement) criteria for apparel.

Textiles are a major source of hazardous substances such as PFAS and biocides, as well as microplastics in wastewater. In our comments on the JRC draft report, we insist that these harmful chemicals are phased out and the need to minimise microplastic release.


Mercury Regulation: dental amalgam

The European Parliament’s Plenary voted and adopted the file on 10 April. Due to the corrigendum procedure, the final text will most likely not be formally approved and published before autumn. We are very pleased that the EU will ban the use of mercury in dental amalgam from January 2025. This ban will also contribute to the circular economy as reduced amounts of mercury in treated urban wastewater will lead to greater potential for water reuse in agricultural irrigation and for sludge from wastewater treatment.


Pharmaceuticals Legislation

MEPs have voted to enshrine pollution prevention into the EU’s revised pharmaceutical rulebook in a Plenary vote last week which sealed its first-reading position on the proposed legislative package. The Reports of MEPs Pernille Weiss and Tiemo Wölken, endorsed by the ENVI committee last month, were adopted without changes.

Read EurEau’s full reaction here.


Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) & IEPR: OJ publication imminent

The final versions of the revised Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and Portal Regulation (IEPR) were signed in late April, bringing the legislative process to an end. The IEPR was published in the Official Journal on 2 May and the IED is expected to follow suit shortly. Member States will then have 22 months to transpose it into national law. The IEPR will apply from 1 January 2028.


Other news

Green Week 2024

Green Week is taking place in Brussels at the end of May 2024. Click here for the European Commission’s events and the full list of partner events.

Pär Dalhielm will speak at a DG Environment Green Week event on 30.05 entitled ‘Our very source of wellbeing: clean, affordable water and sanitation for all’.

EurEau is co-organising an event on 04.06 with the Gothenburg office and Svenskt Vatten on An ambitious EU chemicals strategy.

Unie van Waterscappen will participate in Water4All boosting EU Water Resilience, also on 30.05.


Other files voted in the April 2024 EP Plenary

Several of the files of, at least certain, relevance for EurEau were voted on and adopted in April’s EP Plenary:



29-30 May 2024 - EU Green Week 2024 will focus on water resilience this year. Partner events will continue until 01.09.24.


5-7 June 2024 – Urban Future, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Thousands of CityChangers from all over the world share how they create transformation and which mistakes are made, accelerating change and successfully shaping the future of our cities. This year's theme will look at water. More


11-12 June 2024 - ResNRJwater launch event, Essen, Germany. Funded by Interreg North-West Europe, the conference will highlight the approach of the ResNRJwater project: aiming at a resilient energy supply for and from water and wastewater infrastructure.

Brian Murphy, our General Assembly Representative for Ireland and co-Chairperson of our Committee on Economics and Legal Affairs will address the event.


12-13 June 2024 – The EU-funded ZeroPM project will host a Special Symposium on PFAS remediation in Rastatt and Karlsruhe (Germany). Please register by 17 May at ZeroPM Event Registration Form (


19-20 September 2024 - Achieving Zero Pollution of Persistent and Mobile Substances through Substance Grouping and Risk Assessment workshop, Dessau, Germany. Hosted by UBA.

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