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EurEau newsletter - edition 56 - March 2021

EurEau News

EurEau Recommendations on the Zero Pollution Action Plan

The EurEau General Assembly endorsed our recommendations and the position paper on the Zero Pollution Action Plan is available on the EurEau website. The Strategy intends to achieve no pollution from “all sources”, cleaning the air, water and soil by 2050.


Speaking out

Bertrand Vallet from the EurEau Secretariat spoke at the Danube Water Programme Webinar ‘Cleaning Up: The Review of the EU Urban Waste Water Directive’ (18 March). He presented EurEau’s views on the UWWTD review process. You can find more here.

Dr Claudia Clastell-Exner, EurEau President, spoke at the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) third PMT workshop on Getting control of PMT and vPvM substances under REACH.

Claudia also spoke at the Global workshop on building climate resilience through improving water management at sanitation at national and transboundary levels on 29 March. Claudia’s topic was ‘Water operators and climate change adaptation – why we need the involvement of all stakeholders to ensure resilient water infrastructure'.


EU news

Water legislation

Bathing Water Directive: Commission launches review process

With the publication of the roadmap on the evaluation and the impact assessment, the Commission launched the revision of this successful directive. The impact assessment will cover aspects such as testing frequencies, extension to other users of recreational waters and the inclusion of new indicators such as cyanobacteria, micropollutants and microplastics.

The BWD requires Member States to monitor and assess bathing water for at least two parameters of (faecal) bacteria. They must inform the public about bathing water quality and beach management.


Water and agriculture

Common Agricultural Policy: “Super trilogue” to advance discussions

The Portuguese Presidency of the EU called a meeting on Friday 26 March to try break the impasse in the CAP negotiations.

The talks failed to make a breakthrough but it is considered as a step in the right direction, with a few pointes agreed upon during the discussions.

Negotiators agree on the result indicators in a New Delivery Model and on a two-year review, allowing the suspension of payments only every second year despite performance review is monitored every year.


Water and the environment

REACH: Member States support PFAS phase-out

In its conclusions on the Commission’s new Chemicals Strategy, the Council joins the EU Parliament in calling for the phase-out of PFAS-containing products unless their use is ‘proven’ to be essential.

Member States support key goals of the strategy linking the ‘one substance, one assessment’ approach, ‘sustainability by design’, a zero-tolerance approach for non-compliance and extending the ‘generic approach’ to risk management that would automatically ban substances of concern in consumer products.


Mercury Regulation: feedback submitted

We shared feedback on the roadmap on the revision of the Mercury Regulation in order to reiterate the call for the phase-out of dental amalgam.

The deadline to submit the feedback is 2 April.

The legislative proposal is scheduled for adoption in Q4. The Regulation for the phase-out of the largest remaining intentional use of mercury in the EU - dental amalgam - is technically and economically feasible before 2030.

Water as an essential service


Monitoring Covid-19 in waste water

The European Commission published a recommendation on monitoring SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in waste water in the EU.

The text “strongly encourages” Member States to put in place a national waste water surveillance system targeted at data collection of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in waste water by 1 October 2021.

EurEau members participated in the pilot project run by the JRC that led to this recommendation.



Resilience of Critical Entities Directive: EU Parliament appoints rapporteur

The RCE Directive will set requirements for critical entities, including water operators to increase their resilience against man-made and natural disasters.

The Commission adopted this draft proposal and it is now with the EP and the Council.

The European Parliament LIBE committee (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) appointed the liberal MEP Michal Šimecka (SLO) as rapporteur.


EU Strategies

Chemical Strategy for Sustainability

The Environment Council adopted very interesting and positive conclusions on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

This strategy aims to reduce the risks associated with producing and using chemicals. It will simplify and strengthen EU rules on chemicals.


Zero Pollution Action Plan

The EurEau General Assembly endorsed our recommendations and the position paper on the Zero Pollution Action Plan is available on the EurEau website. The Strategy intends to achieve no pollution from “all sources”, cleaning the air, water and soil by 2050.

Green Week this year will focus on the Zero Pollution Action Plan: the high-level conference organised by the European Commission will take place between 1-4 June and the draft programme is available here.

Partner events will be held across Europe between 3 May and 13 June.


Other news

SARS-CoV-2 Recommendations

The European Commission’s JRC on the monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in waste water published its recommendations. Many countries set up their own national monitoring systems as a cooperation between health authorities and water operators.

Bertrand participated in the town hall meeting organised on 22 March to extend the sharing of knowledge further. It is to be seen whether and how the European Commission will take into account this experience in the revision of the UWWTD.




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.

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

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.

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

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

 11-15 September 2022 - IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition; Water for smart liveable cities in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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