Clean drinking water

The EU has updated its quality standards for drinking water

On 5 March, the Council agreed on a common position on the amendment to the Drinking Water Directive [98/83/EC, see cepPolicyBrief 18/2018] proposed by the EU Commission in February 2018. After the European Parliament (EP) had already drafted a position last year, the interinstitutional negotiations between the Council, EP and Commission are now likely to take place under the Finnish Presidency in the second half of 2019.

In cep’s view, the introduction of a “risk-based approach” is appropriate because it allows threats to the drinking-water supply to be discovered early, and rapidly removed, along the whole supply chain, from the extraction of drinking water from bodies of water right through to the tap. The Commission’s proposal to develop EU-wide hygiene and safety standards for construction products such as taps, used in connection with drinking water, is appropriate in order to allow them to be traded freely in the internal market. The proposed rules on access to drinking water should be rejected, however, because these are reserved for the Member States.