On May 28th 2018, the European Environmental Commission formulated a legal proposition to which we responded. This proposition aims to developpe the circular economy of water in Europe in establishing a shared framework for the Members of the European Union.
Based on our know-how and experience, we think that this regulation, which concerns only agriculture irrigation, could block the development of the water reuse sector and put the circular economy of nutrients contained in the effluents at risk, which is contrary to the objectives of the European Commission who envisions to “stimulate and facilitate the reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture”.
On the 22 of January, the regulation has been approved by a vote of the Environmental Commission of the European Parliament with 53 votes for the regulation, opposed only by one vote and 4 abstentions considering that the regulation has been amended for 479 times.
Despite the effort to enlarge the application of the regulation to civil and environmental uses in addition to the solely focus on agriculture, the representatives of the Environmental Commission chose to concentrate the content of this document on the irrigation of crops, whether for food or not, leaving the choice of a possible future extension of the regulation up to the European Commission.
In the meantime, the representatives of the Environmental Commission have determined that the EU member states are free to authorize other reuse practices for treated wastewater under the condition that the health of humans and animals, as well as the environment remain fully protected.
The regulation will be debated and voted for in the plenary meeting on the 12 and 13 of February in Strasbourg.