What is it?
In November 2012, the European Commission released its Blueprint for the Safeguarding of Europe’s Water. The document evaluated existing EU water policy and was based, amongst others, on:
- The review of the Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000) and in particular the Commission assessment of the member states River Basin Management Plans. The Water Framework Directive was adopted in October 2000 and streamlined the existing Community water policies.
- The review of the strategy on water scarcity and droughts (2007).
The ‘Fitness Check’ of EU Freshwater Policy - The Blueprint concluded that the EU legal framework on water is “extensive, flexible and essentially fit to address the challenges faced by the aquatic environment”, but its implementation should be fostered and it should be better integrated with other policy areas. The document recommends a number of actions, including initiatives to improve water efficiency across the EU. Additionally, the Commission is currently assessing potential EU-wide measures to promote water re-use for irrigation or industrial purposes. An impact assessment is currently ongoing and the Commission may put forth a proposal by the end of 2015.
Why is it important?
As a milestone of the resource efficiency agenda, water plays an essential part in the manufacturing operations and processes of European engineering companies. Already today, Orgalime industries contribute to the realisation of the EU’s Resource Efficiency agenda as water use is regulated under several pieces of EU product legislation, such as the Ecodesign Directive and the Energy label.
Orgalime recognises that the water issue is a priority topic for the EU’s Resource Efficiency policy. Whilst supporting the proposal of the Resource Efficiency Roadmap to implement the Water Framework River Basin Management Plans, Orgalime remain critical of the proposal for establishing water efficiency targets, given the negative effects that this will have on the ongoing implementation of the Eco design Directive. Indeed, water consumption in the use phase is one of the parameters that is already regulated on products where it is relevant in the context of a holistic approach to Eco design; such an approach aims to contribute to the EU’s wider resource efficiency policy objectives.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime closely monitors legislative initiatives related to water policy issues of relevance to our industries, which are active in the development and export of environmental technologies (i.e.: waste water treatment plants). We also participate in stakeholder consultations to provide our viewpoint and input on the issue.
- Entry into force of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000
- Commission to table a 'Blueprint for Safeguarding Europe's Water' 2012
- Review of the implementation of the WFD 2012
- WFD's environmental objectives to be met 2015