EurEau Newsletter - edition 60 - July 2021
Europe’s Water in Figures
From morning until night and even while we sleep, our water operators are working 24 hours a day, and seven days a week, to deliver sustainable services that keep each of us safe and healthy.
The complex processes that we put in place to meet the challenges of delivering these services are adapted to their specific local circumstances. They depend on factors such as population density, the type and available quantity of water resources, required treatment levels, local topography and many other elements. Additional factors influencing prices, costs and asset values include the scope of the service, salary levels, taxes and the facility running costs.
We believe that our survey is the most comprehensive currently available. It includes national technical, economic and managerial data ranging from population connection rates to drinking water production to waste water treatment levels to prices and governance. The results testify to the diversity of the sector. They also show some of the immediate challenges our sector is facing, particularly regarding investment needs.
We trust you will find the information contained in this report useful. You can read it here.
The infographics are also available online.
EurEau publishes new position papers and briefing notes
Our position papers on enabling the circular potential of sewage sludge, on the consideration of small agglomerations in the UWWTD, on the Weser Ruling and its effects on UWWTP and our briefing note on Individual and other Appropriate Systems (IAS) are now published.
Statement on the Climate Action Technical Screening Criteria
EurEau welcomes the new European Commission Delegated Regulation on the Climate Action Technical Screening Criteria (TSC) supplementing the Taxonomy Regulation.
Read our statement on the Taxonomy Delegated Regulation on climate objectives here.
Drinking water: ENVI opinion on Asbestos
The ENVI Committee of the European Parliament adopted its opinion to the EMPL Committee with recommendations to the Commission on ‘protecting workers from asbestos’. The final text of the opinion can be found here.
Integrated water management: revised lists of surface and groundwater pollutants
The European Commission launched the public consultation as part of the impact assessment of a possible revision of the lists of pollutants affecting surface and ground waters and the corresponding regulatory standards in the Environmental Quality Standards (EQS), Groundwater and Water Framework Directives.
More information can be found here.
The public consultation is available here.
The deadline to answer the consultation is 1 November 2021.
Public consultation: revision of the UWWTD
The UWWTD concerns the collection, treatment and discharge of urban waste water and the treatment and discharge of waste water from certain industrial sectors.
Protecting the marine environment: review of the EU rules
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive is under review. The public consultation is open and you can submit your answer here.
The consultation is open until 21 October 2021 and we are preparing our answer.
The MSFD will more effectively protect the marine environment across Europe.
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.
Generally, the more conservative Council positions prevailed over the Parliament’s wishes which themselves were not ambitious enough to protect drinking water resources.
Water and the environment
SUP Directive: EU restrictions come into force
EU restrictions on certain single-use plastics came into force on 3 July, addressing the 10 items that make up 90% of the plastic waste washed up on our beaches. From now on, straws, plastic bottles, coffee cups and takeaway containers made from certain materials are banned in the EU.
Other items, including plastic-containing wet wipes, are singled out for particular attention. From now on, their packaging must bear the following label:
For the water sector, this is an important step forward. Wet wipes are often disposed of through toilets and cause significant damage to the waste water infrastructure, causing pump failures and sewer overflows.
Producers of specific single-use plastic products, including wet wipes, must pay into an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme. These funds will cover the costs of litter clean-ups. EurEau demands that these EPR schemes cover the damage inflicted on the waste water infrastructure. Last but not least, the EPR schemes will fund awareness-raising measures for single-use plastic items such as wet wipes.
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 for the renewal of the mercury-based UV lamps exemption does not include the water disinfection and treatment application specifically in (4f) Annex III, nor the right definition of the lamps.
EurEau has reacted to support extending the exemptions for five years and explicitly including the specific application of disinfection and treatment for drinking water and waste water for low and medium pressure discharge lamps emitting light mainly in the ultraviolet spectrum.
Water as an essential service
INSPIRE Directive evaluation
We reacted to the public consultation.
We support efforts to increase the access of environmentally relevant spatial data to the public. At the same time, EU legislation must ensure the protection of critical infrastructure and essential services to prevent malicious acts and protect people’s health and the environment. Hence, restrictions must be maintained regarding public access to information on water utility networks and treatment facilities, for public security reasons (art. 13.b. INSPIRE Directive).
INSPIRE establishes an infrastructure for spatial information environmental policies, etc. which may have an impact on the environment. We want to limit public access to sensitive data and improve coherence with DWD, UWWTD, EID, PRTR etc…
Fit for 55
The European Commission’s long-awaited ‘Fit for 55’ package was announced during the month. You can read our reaction here.
PFAS: Registry of restriction intentions until outcome
The registry of restriction intentions until outcome lists the intentions and Annex XV restriction proposals received by ECHA.
This is an important step in the restriction approval procedure.
Strategy for Sustainable Textiles
The Textile Strategy encourages the clothing industry to move away from low-cost fast fashion to more durable and sustainable products.
The protection of the quality of water resources should be achieved by banning hazardous chemicals in the production process, banning biocide-treated clothing and PFAS-treated garments and clothes for consumers, and by setting strict microfibre shedding limits per wash.
If control-at-source measures are insufficient, all external environmental costs should be internalised. This includes extra-treatment steps at waste water treatment plants.
Court of Auditors report on the Polluter Pays Principle
The 2021 LIFE call for Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP) has been published on the EU Funding and Tender Portal.
The submission deadlines are as follows: 19 October 2021 for concept notes and 07 April 2022 for full proposals.
SIP projects support full implementation of plans and strategies on the Circular Economy, waste, water and air.
The H2020 project FAIRWAY will organise a webinar on measures and DSS tools to reduce nitrate and pesticide pollution to water on 22 September 2021 10.00–12.30 (CET).
More details on the programme and registration will follow soon and will be published on the FAIRWAY website.
The final video covering the WATenERgy CYCLE project covering water from source to end-users and back to the environment in the Balkins is available here.
The HCWH report on pharmaceutical residues in hospital waste water is available.
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).
23-26 November 2021 – ENEG 2021 will be on the theme of Difficulties in Water Management and Climate Emergency: Looking for the Necessary Changes; Tivoli Marina Vilamoura | Centro de Congressos do Algarve, Portugal
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.