06/21/2011, Berlin

BDEW on the Environment Council's recommendations in terms of water policy:

Member States should consistently implement EU provisions

Take regional conditions into account for water saving strategies

"The European Union's Council of Environment Ministers is perfectly right in insisting on the implementation of European provisions concerning the protection of water bodies, the careful use of water resources and the drinking water quality throughout the EU Member States. There still exist considerable implementation deficits in Europe", Martin Weyand, General Executive Manager Water/Wastewater of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft - BDEW) said in Berlin after today’s publication of the Environment Council’s conclusions on the water policy of the EU.

For instance, there are still considerable differences within the EU in terms of the implementation and observance of the EU Wastewater Directive, BDEW reported. Unlike many other EU States, Germany applied almost nation-wide the highest EU purification standards in wastewater treatment. Wastewater of altogether 98.9 percent of the population was treated in Germany by wastewater disposal utilities. The instruments determined by the European Wastewater Directive, like water meters or pricing in line with demand without any subsidies were not yet a matter of course across Europe.

"Especially the climate change requires consistent sustainable manage-ment in Europe's water supply sector", Weyand emphasised. Water short-age or droughts in different regions of the EU had to be combated by spe-cific measures. The problems attributable to scarce water reserves particularly in the South of Europe were partly further exacerbated by intensive water use in the agricultural or tourism sectors.

"Water savings in countries with large water resources and low water con-sumption do not lead to any improvement of the situation in Member States with water shortage. Due to the differing needs of Member States, the European Union should aim at introducing regionally different regulation. This procedure would comply with the differing needs of Member States with drought problems and water shortage and countries with sufficient water resources", Weyand demanded.

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Jan Ulland
Pressesprecher / Press Spokesman
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