26 October, 2018
The European Commission evaluates the Water Framework Directive in so-called Fitness Check until 2019. With its position DVGW provides input to this process from the perspective of the German drinking water supply sector.
The entry into force of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000 marked a milestone for European water protection. This directive has provided decisive impetus for sustainable management and comprehensive water protection. However, in order to actually achieve the water quality objectives, the WFD must be further developed beyond 2027 and be given additional, effective implementation instruments.
There is a significant need for action to improve protection and reduce the pollution of water bodies used for drinking water supply. The evaluation of the existing management plans and programmes of measures shows that hardly any additional measures have been taken to protect drinking water resources. At the same time, operating costs for management measures and investment costs for additional treatment stages for the removal of trace substances and nitrate have been rising steadily for decades for the water supply sector. Furthermore, the WFD does not yet provide the Member States with instruments for effective emission control, neither for nitrate nor for plant protection products and anthropo-genic trace substances. The call for "good status" miss the mark without the possibilities of measurable emission limitation.
To this end, WFD Article 7 must be provided with clear requirements and guidelines for their implementation by the Member States.
A firm establishment of the polluter-pays principle is essential. This requires a close linking with the political and legal areas relevant for addressing the causes of pollution. To this end, the Common Agricultural Policy as well as legislation regarding chemicals, plant protection products and pharmaceuticals must be given binding requirements, in particular emission limits that correspond with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive, and appropriate instruments for achieving the water protection objectives of the WFD.