EU Drinking Water Directive

The goal of the EU Drinking Water Directive is to ensure safe and clean water for human use inside of all EU member states. An important reason for creating the Water Directive is that water resources are becoming endangered by pollution.

The mission of Waterschools is to use water in a sustainable way. Therefore children as future decision makers should be aware that water and its sources must be protected and taken care of. Clean water means clean environment and healthy living organisms.

Important highlights from the Drinking Water Directive:

  • Whereas Community standards for essential and preventive health-related quality parameters in water intended for human consumption are necessary if minimum environmental-quality goals to be achieved in connection with other Community measures are to be defined so that the sustainable use of water intended for human consumption may be safeguarded and promoted.

  • The Directive laid down the essential quality standards at EU level. A total of 48 microbiological, chemical and indicator parameters must be monitored and tested regularly.

  • Drinking Water Directive sets the minimum standards for drinking water. Member States can include additional requirements or set higher standards, but never lower standards! 

  • Member States may, for a limited time depart from chemical quality standards specified in the Directive. This process is called "derogation". It is allowed, if it doesn´t represent a potential danger to human health and in the case, that water for human consumption cannot be maintained by any other reasonable means.

  • The Directive also requires providing regular information to consumers. In addition, drinking water quality has to be reported to the European Commission every three years.

The updated EU-Drinking Water Directive (2018) will improve the quality of drinking water, the access to it as well as provide better information to citizens. This will be contributing to the environmental goals of reducing unnecessary plastic use and limiting the EU's carbon footprint, as well as to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sources: COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption,

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