EurEau newsletter - edition 59 - June 2021
EurEau new committee chairs take up office
Today, July 1 2021, the new EurEau Committee Chairs and Executive Committee take up their new roles.
EurEau re-elected Dr Claudia Castell-Exner as president for the next two years at the May General Assembly meeting.
The incoming committee chairs are:
- EurEau Drinking Water Committee (EU1): co-Chairs Riina Liikanen, Finland (FIWA) and Miquel Paraira, Spain (AEAS)
- EurEau Waste Water Committee (EU2): co-Chairs Michaël Bentvelsen, the Netherlands (VEWIN, Unie van Waterschapen) and Sarah Gillman, United Kingdom (Water UK)
- EurEau Economics and Legal Affairs Committee (EU3): co-Chairs Denis Bonvillain, France (FP2E) and Gari Villa‐Landa Sokolova, Spain (AEAS).
The full Executive Committee will be composed of Alain Gillis (Treasurer) (Belgaqua, Belgium), Luigi del Giacco (Utilitalia, Italy), Klara Ramm, (IGWP, Poland), Mircea-Valentin Macri (ARA, Romania), Iztok Rozman (CCIS-CPU, Slovenia), Mariano Blanco Orozco (AEAS, Spain) Per Dalhielm (Svenskt Vatten, Sweden) and Stuart Colville (Water UK, United Kingdom).
A big thank you to the outgoing team and a big welcome to the new!
Our press release is here.
We also have a new General Assembly Representative for the Netherlands. Hein Pieper Pieper (Unie van Waterschappen) takes over from Hans de Grone (Vewin).
EurEau Annual Congress 2021 – update
The EurEau Executive Committee took the difficult decision to not hold the annual congress in person this year. We are looking at alternatives and will keep you informed.
Your committee chairs will be in touch regarding the autumn meetings.
Valuing our water services
Our water service providers deliver day and night, keeping us all safe and healthy.
All too often these privileges are taken for granted. Understanding the value of our water services is investing in our future and the future of the next generations. Water gives us life. Awareness of the value of water services will ensure that they are effective, efficient, resilient, sustainable and affordable for all.
Read our paper on Valuing our Water Services.
EurEau publishes new position papers and briefing notes
Our position paper on Integrated Waste Water Management Plans is online.
We also published our position on Energy and Greenhouse Gas emission reduction objectives for the European water sector under the UWWTD.
Meeting national water associations
Oliver Loebel, EurEau Secretary General, spoke at the following online events this month:
09 June: Sewage sludge congress of the German Waster Water Association DWA
15 June: DVGW committee on water quality (DVGD, DE)
22 June: Svenskt Vatten strategy meeting (Svenskt Vatten, SE)
23 June: Austrian Water Sector Congress (ÖWAV, AT).
On 25 June, Bertrand Vallet from the EurEau Secretariat presented how water services contribute to the circular economy in the EU at the online training hosted by the Florence School of Regulation.
We were involved in many events as part of the EU Green Week between 31 May and 7 June.
2 June - Greet de Gueldre gave the keynote address at EU Urban Water Management and Governance – challenges of implementation session hosted by the city of Gothenburg. Anders Finnson moderated the session on behalf of Svenskt Vatten.
3 June - Carla spoke as part of the event on Water legislation on the ground – flowing freely or clear as mud? hosted by DG ENVI.
Also on 3 June, Claudia spoke at the German Environment Agency at the Including Biocides in the Sustainable Use Directive event.
On 7 June (14-15.30h), Carla joined Eurocities and ECMR to discuss the holistic approach to pharmaceuticals and microplastics.
ENVI opinion on Asbestos
The amendments on the European Parliament’s ENVI opinion to the EMPL Committee are published.
Michael Bentvelsen presented the EurEau paper on integrated waste water management at the workshop organised by the European Commission on 22 June.
The Commission was open to integrating the various actors involved in urban catchment from urban planners to the waste water infrastructure operators. On CSOs they realise they have a lot of work to do on definitions before regulating. A universal EU approach will not work and a local approach is needed: they can only work if there is an increased knowledge of the sewers.
We are working on the UWWTD public consultation. The deadline for submission is 21 July.
Water and agriculture
CAP: Legislators reach provisional agreement
After months of negotiations, the Council and the EU Parliament reached agreement on the reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the 2023-2027 period. The eco-scheme ring-fencing was fixed at 25% for the whole period, with a two-year learning period. The alignment with the Green Deal (Farm2Fork strategy, Biodiversity strategy) will only be mentioned in the recitals of the Strategic Plans Regulation instead of in one of the articles. The new CAP will include a new social dimension.
Water and the environment
Climate change: EU adopts ambitious climate law
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have agreed the new EU climate law, sealing the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. In addition to this and an aspirational goal to strive to achieve negative emissions after 2050, the new law sets a binding EU greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
The Commission will engage with economic sectors that wish to put forward voluntary roadmaps towards climate neutrality by 2050.
BWD expert group
A Public consultation will open soon (Q3), with the legislative proposal coming in early 2023. Two technical workshops are also scheduled: one in Q4 and second in Q3 2022.
The surf riders association presented their feedback in a different workshop: they want to include recreational uses in the BWD and also support the movement to increase the possibility to swim in cities.
IED focus group on Environmental Management Systems and Chemical Management Systems
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).
We support the idea that data on chemical products used and the chemical compounds discharged either in urban collecting systems or into surface water should be available to parties with a legitimate interest, such as water operators. This is crucial for the protection of the environment, including drinking water resources, and to enhance the circular economy. Competent authorities were quite supportive of this.
Hydrogen and Gas Market Decarbonisation Package
We reacted to the Public consultation leading to a possible proposal for a revision of the Gas Directive (2009/73/EC) and Gas Regulation ((EC) No 715/2009) planned for Q4 2021.
Biogas produced at the urban waste water treatment plants (UWWTPs) can be upgraded into bio-methane and should play a role in the substitution of fossil gases by renewable gases. Financial and regulatory support must be strengthened.
We ask for guaranteeing access for bio-methane to the gas networks, a sound renewable certification system (Guarantee of Origin) and gas quality standardisation.
In addition, UWWTP have to be connected to the hydrogen economy, should suitable technologies become available.
The Task Force on Taxonomy received a draft of our statement on the Taxonomy Delegated Regulation on climate TSC. The deadline for comments was 30 June.
A series of seminars are also foreseen.
Draft RoHS delegated directive: Hg UV lamps exemption
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products (known as EEE). All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.
The draft delegated RoHS Directive does not include the UV-treatment application specifically and the current exemption does not foresee this specific application for disinfection in the Annex but refers to “other purposes”, while the draft proposal indicates for the moment only a 3-year extension.
Water as an essential service
Critical Infrastructure: Commission launches electronic newsletter
The European Commission's DG Migration and Home Affairs (HOME) and the Joint Research Centre launched a quarterly newsletter: Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience. It focuses on the latest developments, ongoing activities and relevant policy-making aimed to enhance critical infrastructure protection and resilience-based initiatives in the EU and beyond.
You can sign up here.
Pharmaceuticals Strategy: INI
The Pharmaceutical Strategy aims to improve and accelerate patients’ access to safe and affordable medicines and to support innovation in the EU pharmaceutical industry.
The amendments on the Pharmaceutical Strategy own-initiative Report in the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament have been published. Quite a lot of these reflect our concerns around the environmental impact. Since there are over 700 amendments, it is expected that Compromise Amendments (similar amendments are grouped together) will be drafted.
ESPP: joint action on EoW
The ESPP sent a letter, co-signed by us, to the Commission on the end-of-waste criteria for materials recovered from waste water streams. The Commission is developing a short list of materials that could be given EU end-of-waste status. This draft short list should be released in Q4 2021.
New FP2E President
Fp2E (France) has a new President. Maximilien Pellegrini takes over from Frederic Van Heems after his three year mandate
New IGWP president
From 1 July, the IGWP in Poland has a new president of the chamber: Krzysztof Dąbrowski.
Krzysztof worked in construction before this and he spent several years working in Germany. He was the president of a company that provided water and waste services in the city of Grudządz. He was a member of the Chamber Council.
German national water strategy
Germany´s environment ministry published its national water strategy in early June. It’s here, in German.
Germany’s Constitutional complaints against the Federal Climate Change Act partially successful
The German First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court held that the provisions of the Federal Climate Change Act of 12 December 2019 governing national climate targets and the annual emission amounts allowed until 2030 are incompatible with fundamental rights insofar as they lack sufficient specifications for further emission reductions from 2031 onwards. Read more.
Race to Zero
The Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world.
Water UK and some other EurEau members are involved in this campaign. If you would like to get involved, contact Emily.
Unie van Waterschappen and Vewin win top award
Unie van Waterschappen and Vewin won the Future Policy Award 2021 on Protection from Hazardous Chemicals for their ‘Dutch Chain Approach to Pharmaceutical Residues in Water Implementation Programme (2018-2022)’. See more at: Future Policy Award 2021: Shortlisted candidates announced (worldfuturecouncil.org).
7 July 2021; 13:30 to 18:30 – 5th TOWN HALL Meeting on The EU Sewage Sentinel System for SARS-CoV-2 (EU4S) Solutions and Science for Support. Click https://ecconf.webex.com/webappng/sites/ecconf/meeting/download/a14fd6ef658d8cbde515f3d1adde520d?siteurl=ecconf&MTID=m5ebe04f3a7caacecc1086bf53e473a43">here to join.
28 September –1 October 2021 - NORDIWA 2021: Digital conference & exhibition. FIWA, DANVA, Norsk Vann, Samorka and Svenskt Vatten invite all water professionals with an interest in waste water, sewerage and climate change mitigation and adaptation to join NORDIWA 2021. Read more and register here: www.nordiwa.org (the conference language is English).
2022 – CEOCOR; hosted by ÖVGW in Vienna, Austria. (postponed from 2021).
22-24 June 2022 - Water Safety Conference in Narvik, Norway. More.
11-15 September 2022 - IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition; Water for smart liveable cities in Copenhagen, Denmark.