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EurEau newsletter - edition 12 - March 2017

EurEau newsletter - edition 12 - March 2017

EU news
Glyphosate is not carcinogenic, says EU agency 
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said glyphosate should not be classified as a carcinogen.

In July 2016, EU member states approved an 18-month extension of an approval for glyphosate pending the agency’s report, but limited its use. The European Commission has been waiting for the agency’s assessment to make a final decision on approving glyphosate for general use. This is not the end of the process since the draft opinion will now be subjected to an editorial check in with ECHA before being formally submitted to the Commission.

We want a sound, scientific decision to be made, which will avoid potentialy harmful molecules ending up in water resources, especially if they are used for drinking water purposes.

Commission study on microplastics
DG Environment launched a study on microplastics (items smaller than 5mm) that are intentionally added to products, such as cosmetics, personal care products, paints, and detergents.

The contractor - Amec Foster Wheeler - conducted an environmental and human health risk assessment. The study will be used as a basis for Commission regulatory action.

EurEau contributed to the study by providing information on how restricting the use of microplastics would benefit waste water treatment plants and improve the quality of sludge.

parallel project for DG Environment is analysing microplastics generated during the life cycle of plastic products.

ECJ ruling on fixed components in water bills
There is a new ruling from the European Court of Justice on the question of fixed components in the water bill being in line with Art. 9 of the WFD.  Read the ruling here.

Sustainable Management of Water in Agriculture meeting
EurEau Vice President Claudia Castell-Exner spoke at the European Parliament Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development intergroup event on 21 March, on the topic of Sustainable Management of Water in Agriculture - addressing pressure from agriculture to achieve the goals of the WFD.

You can read an overview of the meeting on the ‘EU matters’ blog.
The event website gives more information, including speaker statements, the list of participants, and other event documents.  

Water supply as critical infrastructure
As part of the European Reference Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection(ERNCIP), the Commission (DG Home) supports the development of so-called Water Security Plans to protect drinking water supply from malevelent actions. Although these plans are unlikely to become legally binding, EurEau calls on the Commission to adapt existing tools, such as the water safety plans, to these new challenges.

At the same time, NATO has agreed on Seven Baseline Requirements to enhance resilience through civil preparedness. EurEau represents the water sector in this area. Our members should encourage their governments to merge all security-related initiatives into one.

Water UK published ‘Cyber security principles for the water industry’ based on the UK government’s ‘Water sector cyber security strategy 2017-2021’.  

Drinking Water Directive revision 
The study supporting the revision of the Drinking Water Directive (final impact assessment report) is available. The report focuses on 12 policy options in five fields and the economic, social and environmental impact they might have.

The European Commission welcomes comments on the study by the end of April, as announced at the DWD experts group on 27 March. The meeting documents and the presentations delivered can be found here.      

We submitted our comments to the Roadmap on the DWD: you can find all feedback here and our contribution here.    

Greet de Gueldre attended the WG Chemicals of the CIS on behalf of EurEau, on 28-29 March.

Water Reuse
On Wednesday 8 March, the European Commission held a workshop on the results of the public consultation regarding the policy options to set minimum quality requirements for reused water in the EU. Oliver Loebel and Bertrand Vallet from the secretariat represented EurEau and Oliver presented our answer to the consultation as the starting point for the discussion. He reminded participants that water reuse is a reality in certain countries, and that EU minimum quality requirements need to be adapted with regard to how the water will be used so as to provide high levels of protection (and therefore confidence) all while guaranteeing economic feasibility.

Minimum quality requirements standards should be adopted to local needs and we consider a directive the best means to ensure this. Stakeholders participated in the debate and it seems that there is a confusion on the scope of the European Commission’s intentions. A lot of questions were focused on industrial water reuse but the proposal of the European Comission will only concern waste water defined under the Urban Wate Water Treatment Directive. It is important to remember this very specific scope.

Fertiliser Regulation
Amendments on reports from the AGRI and ENVI Committees are now publicly available on the website of the European Parliament. We are still waiting for the publication of the amendments on IMCO report that should come soon. We will analyse them and continue to advocate for the EurEau position which is available on our website.

Endocrine Disruptors
Member States once again rejected the European Commission’s proposed definition of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). This definition doesn’t consider the derogation, which would allow for the approval of EDCs if they involve only a negligible risk of exposure to humans.

The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed meeting (28 February)  ended without coming to a resolution. Some Member States support the definition. We will continue to follow the development on this important file for water resource protection.

Water JPI advisory board meeting
EurEau attended the advisory board meeting of the Water Joint Programming Initiative on 23 March in Dublin where the Water Joint Programming Implementation Plan 2017-19 was launched. This document provides a roadmap for the upcoming planned Water Joint Programming Initiative activities

International news
World Water Day
UN World Water Day was celebrated amongst EurEau members. You can read about what happened here. We issued a press release to mark the day.

News from our members
Estonia … in Nigeria
Our Estonain members are undertaking a project on the feasibility of the ‘Development and Implementation of the Nigeria Water Education’.

The project will carry out preparatory activities for the development and potential launch of water education program in Nigeria. Learn more herehere and see a video message here!

Out ‘n about
Carla Chiaretti, from the EurEau Secretariat, was invited to share our views on the developments of water policy at EU level with EUROCITIES’ working group on water, in the framework of the EUROCITIES Environment Forum held on 15 March in Antwerp. 

Communications and media
The EurEau Annual Report 2016 is now available. You can read it here.

We held the first meeting of EurEau Communication Managers (ENCM), with attendees from Ireland, Portugal, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, The Netherlands and our two German members. 

As a result of the ENCM, ALUSEAU joined Twitter. You can tweet at them using the handle @Aluseau.

President Bruno Tisserand and Vice President/EU3 Chair Carl-Emil Larsen “starred” on Serbian news television following the EU3 meeting in Nis. You can view CEL’s interviewhere.

Oliver was quoted in EurActiv, talking about precision farming practices.

EurEau meets its members
On 23 March, Bertrand Vallet met with Irish Water in Dublin.

Hello and goodbye!
In the European Commission, the new director for Quality of Life is François Wakenhut, replacing Marianne Wenning.

Malta has a new EurEau General Assembly representative: Mario Paul Zammit. He replaces Charles Brincat.

You can see a list of events happening around Europe here. The following are a selection. If you have events happening in your country, let us know, especially if you would like to get the EurEau perspective by having us represented at it!

Important dates
15-17 May: IWA Performance Indicators conference in Vienna.
18 May: Symposium on materials and products in contact with drinking water in Brussels. You can find out more here.
24-26 May: AEAS - the XXXIV edition of the Technical  Conferences.
6-9 June: ASTEE in Liege, Belgium.
20-22 June: IWA – conference in Trondheim June 2017.

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