Revised Drinking Water Directive

The European Parliament adopted last December the revised Drinking Water Directive. The new Directive will guarantee safer access to water for all Europeans. At the same time, it will ensure the highest standards in the world for drinking water, in line with the zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment announced in the European Green Deal. It is based on the proposal presented by the Commission in February 2018, as a direct follow-up to the first-ever successful Right2Water European Citizens' Initiative validated in 2014, which aims to guarantee a "right to water" for all, while strengthening the levels of protection.

The new rules update quality standards and introduce a risk-based approach. The Directive introduces the obligation for Member States to improve or maintain access to safe drinking water for all, with focus on vulnerable and marginalized groups. It also foresees better access to information for citizens regarding water suppliers, concerning for example the quality and supply of drinking water in their living area. The Directive will improve consumers' confidence in drinking water from the tap, cutting waste from the use of plastic bottled water. The Directive entered in force on 12 January 2021, and Member States will have two years to transpose it into national legislation.

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