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EurEau newsletter - edition 54 - January 2021

EurEau News

Speaking out

EurEau Secretary General Oliver Loebel spoke at the DVGW technical meeting on 19 January.

The same day, EurEau President, Claudia Castell-Exner, spoke at the stakeholder event on the evaluation of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive held by DG Santé of the European Commission. The various presentations are available here and Claudia’s speech is here.

Francesca Pizza (coordinator for our JWG on Water Reuse) was the keynote speaker at the webinar held by the World Federation of Engineering Organizations - on "Water Reuse for a Sustainable Industry" on 26 January.

Anders Finnson, chair person of the JWG on the WFD, was speaking on our behalf at the European Parliament Intergroup “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development meeting on “EPR as an instrument to tackle microplastics pollution” on 27 January.


EU news

Legislative developments

Water legislation


Drinking Water Directive: in force

The DWD has entered in to force (12 January). It aims to protect people, improve access to water and ensure uniform safety standards for industry. The EU official journal text is available here. Member States will have until the 12 January 2023 to transpose the directive into their national legislation.

The ECHA’s is setting up lists of chemicals that can be safely used in materials that come into contact with drinking water. More.


Sewage Sludge Directive: public consultation

The SSD seeks to encourage the use of sludge coming from sewage in agriculture and to regulate its use in such a way as to prevent harmful effects on soil, vegetation, animals and man.

The public consultation on the SSD is open. The deadline to respond to the Commission is 5 March 2021.

Water and agriculture


Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive 

The Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive will be revised under the Farm2Fork (F2F) Strategy which is part of the EU’s Green Deal. Its aim is to protect human health and the environment from the possible risks and impacts of pesticides.

The Commission launched the public consultation on the evaluation of the current directive.

Claudia spoke on behalf of EurEau at the European Commission’s DG Santé’s stakeholder event on the evaluation of the legislation on 19 January, the various presentations are available here and Claudia’s speech is here.

The European Parliament (ENVI and AGRI Committees) have presented an own-initiative report on the F2F.  The shadow-rapporteurs will submit their amendments by 2 February 2021.


Water and the environment

Industrial Emissions Directive: review

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is being reviewed and some waste water treatment activities are covered. The IED aims to achieve a high level of protection of human health and the environment taken as a whole by reducing harmful industrial emissions, in particular through better application of Best Available Techniques (BAT). The public consultation on IED and on the E-PRTR (the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register is the Europe-wide register that provides easily accessible key environmental data) has been released.


Energy directives: public consultations launched

The Commission launched the public consultations on the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The RED sets rules for the EU to achieve its 20% renewables target by 2020 while the EED calls for stronger action on climate change including reducing GHGE by 50% and contributes to other Green Deal initiatives.


Zero Pollution Action Plan

The European Commission issued the public consultation on the Zero Pollution Action Plan, one of the flagship initiatives of the EU Green Deal. The ZPAP intends to achieve no pollution from “all sources”, cleaning the air, water and soil by 2050.

We believe that the ZPAP should go beyond a monitoring exercise and should take actions to reduce pollution at the source. The deadline for the public consultation is 10 February.  


Motion for a Resolution on the New Circular Economy Action Plan

The NCEAP is to make circularity the mainstream in our lives and speed up the green transition of our economy.

The vote took place in the ENVI committee on 27 January 2021 and the compromised amendment related to water resources was adopted putting the focus on reusing water for irrigation in agriculture and on the capacity to recover materials from waste water. You can find the report here.


Commission and the Biodiversity Strategy

The European Commission published additional consultations on the evaluation of the Biodiversity Strategy 2011-2020 and on the initiative “Protecting biodiversity: nature restoration targets under EU biodiversity strategy (europa.eu)”, the latter being one of the key measures announced in the EU’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy to achieving the climate change mitigation needed by 2030. It will propose legally binding nature restoration targets, subject to an impact assessment.


EU Strategies

EU Strategy for Textiles: Commission publishes Roadmap

This new strategy aims to help the EU shift to a climate-neutral, circular economy where textiles are designed to be more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable and energy-efficient. It will also address micro-fibre release from synthetic garments and chemicals used for the production of textiles.

To the roadmap here.


Other news

IAWR call to appreciate and keep our waters clean

The drinking water suppliers of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt river basins call for an "immediate redirection of the future of the CAP in order to secure clean drinking water" and for the EU’s CAP reform to be better aligned with the Green Deal. Read more


GWOPA- Water Operators Partnerships

UN-Habitat and the European Commission make available funding for international cooperation projects of European water operators

The deadline to submit the first application of the call for proposals is 15 April.

More information.


EBC Foundation publishes first SDG Pilot report

At the end of 2020, water-and wastewater utilities participating in EBCs benchmarking programme received a pilot report on their performance in relation to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More


SWAN-ing in Malta

The Water Services Corporation has joined SWAN, the Smart Water Networks Forum, to further showcase the acceleration of smart water technologies as part of their water management efforts.


Restoring the past for the future

This amazing shot was taken underground, inside the Luqa Naval Reservoir which can hold up to 10million gallons of water. The reservoir was built by the British Naval Authorities in the 19th century. It’s been out of service for a number of years but the Water Services Corporation in Malta is carrying out maintenance and cleaning works to restore the reservoir for use again.malta


Nordic recognition for Scandinavian and European water work

Svenskt Vatten's environmental expert, Anders Finnson, has been awarded the WATER Prize by the Swedish Association for Water, for the year 2021. The prize is awarded to a person or group active in the Nordic countries and who through an idea, construction, practical application, research, scientific dissertation, etc. in a significant way promoted development in water management.

The prize motivation reads: “Anders Finnson has for a long time been a driving force in getting rid of unwanted chemicals from both the water and plant industries' cycles. Anders' great commitment to phase out chemicals has not escaped anyone in the water sector. His work is well known among his peers in Sweden, but has also worked for development and change at the European level, among other things through his involvement in EurEau.

Anders has a fantastic ability to reach out in a clear and pedagogical way with his message to various social actors, all of whom need to contribute for change and improvement to take place."

Congratulations Anders from us all in EurEau!


Belgian water operators call for general mobilisation to guarantee universal access to water

The Belgian Social Fund for Water has been a pioneer in the fight against water insecurity since 1996, but collective efforts must be continued to develop training, employment and support for the payment of the water bill for the most vulnerable.

Multiple possibilities are available to customers to meet the burden of their water bill from free clearance plans to the intervention of €80 for the Covid-19 temporary unemployed, etc.

If, despite this, bills go unpaid, water distributors have a duty to recover them by a principle of good management supports consumers and avoids an overall increase in the water bill.

The Belgian water operators under AUQAWAL have 20 concrete proposals to ensure the right to water in Wallonia.


Good news for water sector employees in Bulgaria

The Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and Bulgarian Water Supply and Sewerage Holding fully supports the increase of remuneration of salaries of water sector's employees. An agreement was signed recently with the national branch syndicate for cooperation regarding issues in the sector. More.



23 February 2021 – Carla Chiaretti from the EurEau Secretariat will join the panel ‘Beyond Low Hanging Fruit: Developing a Strategic Roadmap to Achieve Carbon Neutrality’ at the World Water Tech Innovation Summit 2021.

24 February 2021 – Oliver Loebel will present our EPR study at the EPR Club event. It is the follow up to the 27 January event.

25 February 2021 - BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues will centre around the theme of Smart Water for Resilient Cities. EurEau President, Dr Claudia Castell-Exner will speak at this conference. https://blueplanetberlin.de/.

23 April 2021 – Carla Chiaretti from the EurEau Secretariat will join the session ‘The Future of the Water Sector’ at the Environment Ireland Conference. More information: www.environmentireland.ie.

9-14 May 2021- IWA World water Congress in Copenhagen.

17-20 May 2021 – LuWQ2021, 5th International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land use and water quality: Agriculture and the Environment. More.

31 May–2 June 2021 - (postponed from 15-16 June 2020) European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC4) and PERM, Vienna, Austria. More

Postponed to June 2022 - from August 2021 - Water Safety Conference in Narvik, Norway. More.

2022 – CEOCOR; hosted by ÖVGW in Vienna, Austria. (postponed from 2021).

23-24 September 2021 - Bulgarian Water Association’s 10th jubilee conference on Water Loss Reduction. The BWA is calling for interested parties to present an applied-scientific report, attend or be an advertiser.  More: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or www.bwa-bg.com.

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