Oliver Loebel

The EU’s Green Deal triggered the revision of relevant EU rules covering waste water treatment, surface and groundwater quality, sewage sludge, pesticides, industrial emissions, PFAS restrictions and energy-related legislation. Other initiatives concern the circular economy and nutrient management.

EurEau sees this as an opportunity to improve the protection of water resources, unleash the sector’s circular economy potential and support it on its way to climate neutrality.

To achieve this, the control-at-source principle must be strengthened and the polluter must pay for any extra water treatment to comply with health and environmental standards. We see efforts to strengthen the control at source in new EU laws, but the polluter-pays principle is still largely neglected.

Another pre-requisite for success is full cost recovery, which is not well implemented in the majority of countries. The polluter-pays principle should be included in the cost recovery calculation.