Water Policy Updates - April 2022
Commission’s April infringement package takes Spain to the EU Court of Justice over the lack of implementation of the Urban Waste Water Directive, and the nominations for the Stockholm Water Prize open.
Commission Refers Spain to the EU Court of Justice over its failure to comply with the Urban Waste Water Directive
As a part of its April infringements package, the Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failure to comply with the Urban Waste Water Directive (UWWD). The Directive aims at protecting the environment from the adverse effects of urban wastewater coming from domestic and certain industrial sectors. Under the Directive, towns and cities are required to put in place the necessary infrastructure in order to collect and treat their urban wastewaters, thus eliminating or reducing all their undesirable effects when they are discharged into water bodies.
The Commission's enquiries revealed a widespread failure to comply with the Directive's obligation in 133 agglomerations in Spain. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Spain in December 2016 and a reasoned opinion in February 2020 asking Spain to fully comply with the Urban Waste Water Directive. While the Commission recognised and welcomed the progress that was made, there is still a need to ensure that the agglomerations' collecting systems are provided and that, where the use of individual or other appropriate systems is justified, they achieve the same level of environmental protection.
The European Green Deal sets a Zero Pollution ambition for the EU, which benefits public health, the environment and climate neutrality, thus also enhancing Europe's resilience. EU legislation, such as the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, aims to protect human health and safeguard the natural environment, and it is essential that Member States implement it fully.
Nominate your candidates for the Stockholm Water Prize!
Nominations for the 2023 Stockholm Water Prize are now open!
The Stockholm Water Prize has been presented every year since 1991 in recognition of groundbreaking research and bold innovations that have transformed how we understand and manage freshwater. The laureates come from all over the world and represent a broad range of water-related activities, professions, and scientific disciplines.
The Prize was established to raise awareness of water issues and honour outstanding achievements. Over the years, it has helped freshwater becomes more prominent on the global agenda and played an important role in spreading the work of the Laureates across the world. This has contributed to more informed discussions and better decisions on topics like groundwater contamination, agriculture, river management, and climate action, to name but a few.
Now the applications are open for the next Stockholm Water Prize Laureate which will be announced in March 2023. Anyone can submit a nomination and the procedure is rather simple: the first step is to send the name of the nominee with a short supporting statement. See more here.
Nominations are accepted until 30 September 2022.