European Council adopts proposal Drinking Water Directive

Approval drinking water directive
The new Drinking Water Directive also stipulates access to drinking water for everyone. Photo: Pixabay

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The European Council adopted the proposal for the revision of the European Drinking Water Directive the 23rd of October . Under the new rules, drinking water quality standards will be updated and a cost-effective risk-based approach to monitor water quality will be introduced. Furthermore requirements will be set for materials in contact with drinking water, such as pipes.

The new Drinking Water Directive also stipulates access to drinking water for everyone. Moreover rules will be made transparent for consumers. Furthermore the European Council responds to growing concerns about the effects of endocrine disruptors, drugs and microplastics on human health. The introduction of a watch list allows the EU to monitor new knowledge about these substances and their relevance to human health.

Procedure

The most recent proposal is a compromise previously reached between the European Council and the European Parliament. After approval of the European Council, the European Parliament must agree now. After approval by the European Parliament, expected in the week of December 14, the directive will be officially published by the European Union and twenty days later the new rules will come into force. From that moment Member States will have two years time to adapt national laws and regulations to meet the requirements of the new Drinking Water Directive.

Negotiations

Negotiations on the revision of the Drinking Water Directive were difficult. Earlier the approval was also postponed due to the corona crisis. The main problems during the negotiations were access to drinking water for all, new standards for emerging substances, microplastics, mandatory leak monitoring, transparency for consumers and materials in contact with drinking water.

Right2water

The European Commission presented a proposal for a new Drinking Water Directive on 1 February 2018. In this revision the outcome of the very first successful European citizens’ initiative ‘Right2Water’ is included.

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