|Author (Corporate)||European Commission: DG Environment|
|Series Details||COM (2017) 753|
Legislative initiative published by the European Commission on 1 February 2018, revising the Drinking Water Directive (DWD), aimed at regulating the quality of water intended for human consumption.
Since the 1980s, the European Union (EU) has applied rules that require stringent water safety checks. In this context, Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption should be singled out since it was designed specifically to protect people from the adverse effects of drinking contaminated water by ensuring that it is wholesome and clean. While the Directive was appropriately implemented by Member States, its approach to monitoring quality at the point of consumption uses parameters determined many years ago. This has called for an examination of whether the Directive deals effectively with existing and emerging pressures.
The Right2Water initiative - the first ever European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) - was submitted in December 2013. In its response to the ECI, the European Commission committed to reviewing the Directive, which was included as a result to the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). The proposal therefore directly follows up on the Right2Water initiative. The revision of the Drinking Water Directive was also put forward as part of the plan to transition to a circular economy. The assessment of the Directive showed the it is a relevant tool to ensure the high quality of the water consumed in the EU. However, it also identified several areas with room for improvement.
The proposed revision requires Member States to improve access for all people, especially for vulnerable and marginalised group who face difficult access to drinking water. In practice, that means setting up equipment for access to drinking water in public spaces, launching campaigns to inform citizens about the quality of their water and encouraging administrations and public buildings to provide access to drinking water. Another important change in the legislation gives the public easy, user-friendly – including online – access to information about the quality and supply of drinking water in their living area, improving confidence in tap water.
The European Commission adopted the legislative proposal on 1 February 2018. The European Parliament's plenary session adopted its negotiating position on 23 October, followed by the Council of the European Union on 5 March 2019. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text was reached on 18 December. The Council formally endorsed it on 23 October 2020, followed by the Parliament's plenary on 15 December.
|Subject Tags||Consumer Rights | Protection, Water|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|