Improved quality and access to drinking water

12 January 2023

With a press release, the European Commission announced that, as of today, Europeans can be assured of improved quality and access to drinking water thanks to new requirements from the revised Drinking Water Directive. The new rules aim to be one of the highest standards in the world for drinking water, in line with the zero pollution ambition announced in the European Green Deal. This also responds to a successful European Citizens’ Initiative, ‘Right2Water’, which gathered 1.6 million signatures in support of improving access to safe drinking water for all Europeans.

To ensure the high quality of drinking water, the Drinking Water Directive includes updated safety standards, introduces a methodology to identify and manage quality risks in the whole water supply chain, establishes a watch list of emerging substances such as microplastics, endocrine disruptors, as well as new types of chemicals to be monitored and introduces conformity provisions for products to be used in contact with drinking water. The new directive tackles water leakages as now on average 23% of the treated water is lost during distribution in the EU. There are also requirements for Member States to improve and maintain access to drinking water for all, and for vulnerable and marginalised groups in particular. The new directive entered into force on 12 January 2021 and Member States had until today to transpose it into national law.

You can find more information here.