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Depositphotos | Mona Makela

© Depositphotos | Mona Makela |

Water scarcity: Commission advises on safe water reuse in agriculture

Water reuse can limit abstractions from surface waters and groundwater and promote a more efficient management of water resources, through the multiple uses of water within the urban water cycle, in line with the EU’s goals under the European Green Deal.

This drive towards more efficient use of water is also reflected in the recent Commission proposal to revise the Industrial Emissions Directive, calling also for a more efficient use of water across all industrial processes including through water reuse. The upcoming Commission’s proposal to revise the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive will also aim to further facilitate water reuse.

“Freshwater resources are scarce and increasingly under pressure. In times of unprecedented temperature peaks, we need to stop wasting water and use this resource more efficiently to adapt to the changing climate and ensure the security and sustainability of our agricultural supply. Today’s guidelines can help us do just that and secure the safe circulation, across the EU, of food products grown with reclaimed water,” Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Virginijus Sinkevičius


To ensure coordination between Member States, where water reuse is of cross-border relevance, Member States will have to designate a contact point to ensure timely exchanges with other Member States’ contact point and competent authorities.

The Regulation also sets out harmonised minimum monitoring requirements, risk management provisions to assess and address potential additional health risks and possible environmental risks, permitting obligations, and provisions on transparency, whereby key information about any water reuse project is to be made publicly available.

For more information


European Commission 2022

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