Access to water reinforced by the European Parliament

  • environment

The European Parliament voted yesterday in plenary to improve access to safe drinking water.

The plenary adopted amendments on access to water which were supported by EUROCITIES and had been re-tabled for plenary after the ENVI committee vote.

This means :

  • The new text says that the directive's objective is to provide universal access to water intended for human consumption in the Union. 
  • Member States have to identify people without access, or with limited access, to drinking water, including vulnerable and marginalised groups, and taking actions
  • Member States have to:
    • set up water fountains in public space
    • ensure free provision of drinking water in administrations and public buildings
    • take measures to encourage tap water consumption and discourage people from buying water bottles
    • ensure free provision of drinking water to customers in restaurants, canteens, and catering services (Hurraaaaaaagh ! bars not mentioned though …)
  • Targeted support for local authorities to comply with those obligations is also introduced.

The plenary also adopted provisions to ensure that materials in contact with drinking water are safe and protect public health and measures to increase citizens confidence in tap water.

The Rapporteur Mr Dantin will now negotiate with the Council.