Press release: EurEau reaction to the European Commission’s revision of the Drinking Water Directive

01 February 2018

EurEau welcomes the move to further protect our health and our environment but questions remain.

Brussels, 01 February 2018: Ensuring that we have safe drinking water is our sector's goal.

The revised Drinking Water Directive – launched by Vice President Frans Timmermans - will help achieve this.

"Protecting drinking water resources protects all of us, not just today, but for the future too. The Commission proposal to implement an EU-wide risk-based approach is a first important step forward, as it includes the whole supply chain from catchment to tap." said Arjen Frentz, chair of the EurEau Committee on Drinking Water.

The proposal contains numerous revised quality parameters for our drinking water. There is a discrepancy between the WHO's recommendations to include and/or delete quality parameters and the Commission's proposals. EurEau will assess the Commission's reasoning as well as the technological feasibility and financial implications of these.

On the downside, the Commission missed the opportunity to propose a Europe-wide approval scheme for products and materials in contact with drinking water. Setting hygienic requirements in the new directive, together with technical aspects of the Construction Products Regulation would go a long way to protecting health and the free movement of goods in Europe.

The Commission's proposal responds to the first ever successful European Citizens Initiative, which called on the EU to guarantee the human right to water and sanitation which must be available, physically accessible, affordable, acceptable, safe and of excellent quality.