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Water News from Brussels

The articles in the News from Brussels section here below cover the following topics:
 
1. New Drinking Water Directive: Update - adoption envisaged December 2020
2. EurEau publication "The governance of water services in Europe"
3. How to overcome water challenges in agriculture: FAO’s The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2020 takes a new look at water shortages and scarcity in the world
4. Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): Devastating verdict by Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). CAP’s environmental ambition (as proposed by the European Commission) about to be dismantled.
5. State aid rules on environment and energy to be amended to support the European Green Deal
6. Upholding the law: Infringement procedures update November 2020
7. IMPEL network commencing project on reversing groundwater pollution
8. European Parliament questions: 7 water-related questions from Parliamentarians, from large-scale animal farms to interpretation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
 
   
   
1) New Drinking Water Directive
Update - adoption envisaged December 2020 
 
EWA News 1/2020, 2/2020 and 5/2020 reported on the political agreement within the trilogue European Parliament / Council / Commission on the recast of the Drinking Water Directive.As of 30 November 2020, the final adoption in the European Parliament Plenary is foreseen for 15 December 2020.
 
EWA NEWS provides you links to the latest documents by European Parliament and Council.
 
Read the full article:
➥ New Drinking Water Directive
 
   
   
2) "The Governance of Water Services in Europe"
Publication from EurEau 
 
EurEau is the European Federation of National Associations of Water Services and has just published its 2020 edition of "The governance of water services in Europe", providing information on:
 
• Management models (ownership and operation)
• Water tariffs
• Quality of services
• Environmental regulation
• Length of drinking water supply and waste water collection systems
• Average residential consumption
• Average price
 
Read the full article:
➥ EurEau publication "The governance of water services in Europe"
 
   
   
3) How to overcome water challenges in agriculture
FAO’s The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2020 takes a new look at water shortages and scarcity in the world 
 
26 November 2020 saw the publication of the FAO 2020 "State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA)" report. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) is a United Nations specialised agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
 
More than three billion people live in agricultural areas with high to very high levels of water shortages and scarcity, and almost half of them face severe constraints. Furthermore, available freshwater resources per person have declined by more than 20 percent over the past two decades globally, underscoring the importance of producing more with less, especially in the agriculture sector, the world's largest user of water. Improved water management, supported by effective governance and strong institutions - including secure water tenure and rights, underpinned by sound water accounting and auditing - will be essential to ensure global food security and nutrition, and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2020 - a flagship report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
 
EWA NEWS provides you links to the full FAO SOFA 2020 report (PDF, 210 pages) and the abstract version (PDF, 28 pages).
 
Read the full article:
➥ FAO SOFA 2020 report
 
   
   
4) Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP): Devastating verdict by Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
CAP’s environmental ambition (as proposed by the European Commission) about to be dismantled. 
 
The IEEP, one of the leading European sustainability think tanks, has undertaken an assessment of Agriculture Ministers' and European Parliaments political deal struck so far on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy", delivering a devastating verdict:
 
Out of six essential elements for keeping the CAP’s environmental ambition alive, Ministers' and Parliament's positions undermine 4 out of the 6 points, while the other 2 do not contain sufficient safeguards to firmly preserve or build on the environmental and climate proposals put forward by the European Commission on the political deal struck so far.
 
Read the full article:
Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
 
   
   
5) State aid rules on environment and energy to be amended to support the European Green Deal
The State Aid Modernisation 
 
Rules on State aid have been part of the constitutional framework of the EU/EC/EEC since the 1957 Treaties of Rome. Based on societal, political and economic developments, State aid rules have changed over time. In particular since May 2012, the EU has seen a major reform of EU State aid rules: The State Aid Modernisation. This allows Member States to quickly implement State aid that fosters investment, economic growth and job creation, leaving the Commission to focus its State aid control on cases most liable to distort competition. As part of the State Aid Modernisation, the Commission has revised a considerable number of State aid rules since 2013.
 
The rules need to be aligned to future challenges, in line with the Commission's priorities. In particular, State aid can, and should, contribute even further to the European Green Deal, as well as to the EU's Digital and Industrial Strategies. In particular, the revision of the energy and environmental rules will have to facilitate appropriate measures further promoting a modern decarbonised and circular economy, while ensuring limited distortions of competition and adequate safeguards to the integrity of the single market. This is key, given the past and, most crucially, future budgetary constraints combined with the necessity to support the recovery of the EU economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
 
Read the full article:
➥ State aid rules on environment and energy to be amended to support the European Green Deal
 
   
   
6) Upholding the Law
Infringement procedures update November 2020 
 
The European Union is constitutionally designed as a Union of Law. According to the Treaties (Treaty on European Union, Treaty on Functioning of the European Union), Member States are obliged to comply with EU legislation adopted by the legislator (European Parliament and Council), and the Commission has the right and the obligation to scrutinise such compliance and where appropriate take legal action.
 
Past weeks have seen a range of legal enforcement actions by the Commission for non-compliance with EU water-related legislation, in particular
- Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC,
- Nature protection legislation (Habitats and Birds Directives),
- Access to justice for citizens and non-governmental organisations (NGOs),
- Environmental Quality Standards Directive 2008/105/EC (Daughter Directive to the Water Framework Directive),
- Flood risk management under the Floods Directive,
- Pollution from industrial activities under the Industrial Emissions Directive,
- Urban waste water treatment under Directive 91/271/EEC,
- Environmental impact assessment under Directive 2011/92/EU,
- Closure, sealing and restoration of illegal landfills under the Waste Framework Directive,
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