Policy and Regulations
Timeline of regulatory initiatives relating to water reuse at a EU level
In the absence of European wide standards or guidelines to regulate water reuse in Europe, the EU has developed a portfolio of directives developed to protect the environment and human health, regulate the water cycle and are therefore of major importance for water reuse. These regulatory initiatives are listed below including links to the relevant documents.
Further information on policies and regulatory tools developed nationally for specific water reuse applications in six of the 28 EU member states are provided in the table below the timeline with links to the relevant documents when available.
Water reuse for agricultural irrigation: EU Council approves provisional agreement
The regulation sets out harmonised minimum water quality requirements for the safe reuse of treated urban wastewaters for agricultural irrigation. It contains strict requirements for the quality of reclaimed water and its monitoring to ensure that human and animal health as well as the environment are protected.
EU Minimum requirements for water reuse in agricultural irrigation and aquifer recharge - Science For Policy Report
(DG Environment/Joint Research Centre of the European Commission)
Proposes minimum quality requirements for the reuse of water for agricultural purposes and aquifer recharge for the protection of the environment and human health. To be used as a basis for defining future EU legislation on the reuse of water in agriculture.
Guidelines for Integrating Water Reuse into Water Planning and Management in the context of the Water Framework Directive
Proposes a common strategy for the development and implementation of reuse schemes including sources, uses, benefits, planning steps, public and stakeholder interaction and funding.
Water Reuse in Europe - Relevant guidelines, needs for and barriers to innovation
This JRC Science and Policy Report analyses the technical, environmental and socioeconomic challenges associated with water reuse as a strategic water management option to meet the increasing demand for water resources.
Council Directive (The Water Framework Directive)
Sets out rules to stop deterioration in the status of EU water bodies and achieve "good status" for Europe's rivers, lakes and groundwater by 2015. Includes guaranteeing sustainable water usage by individuals and businesses, hence indirectly recognises reuse as a strategy for increasing water availability.
Policies and regulatory tools in place at national level across the European Union
2005 – Standards for the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation, Decree no. 296/03.06.05 adopted in 2005 along with a Code of Good Agricultural Practice (P.I. 263/2007).
- Ministry of Agriculture, Natural resources and Environment
- Water development Department
2002-2013 – The Water Pollution Control Laws. The basic legislative instrument on which the control of water and soil pollution control is regulated is Law No. 106 (I)/2002. This Law together with its amendments (No. (I)/2005, 76 (I)/2006, 22 (I)/2007, 11 (I)/2008, 53 (Ι)/2008, 68 (I)/2009, 78 is known as “The Control of Water Pollution Laws 2002 to 2013″
- The Water Pollution Control (Discharge of Urban Waste Water) Regulations of 2003 (No. 772/2003).
- The Water Pollution Control (Sensitive Areas for Disposal of Urban Waste Water) Ministerial Decree of 2013 (No. 280/2013).
- The Ministerial Decree of small – scale wastewater treatment plants < 2000 p.e (No. 379/2015).
- The Code of Good Agriculture Practice Decree (No. 263/2007).
- The Environmental Impact Assessment Law (No. 127 (I)/2018) for discharge to water bodies and for the management of the effluent for new UWWTPs.
2014 – Regulation for water reuse for agricultural and green areas irrigation. Official Journal of the French Republic. Decree n◦0153 du 4 of July 2014 Page 11059 Text No. 29, by which the Previous Decree is Modified for the Use of Treated Effluents for Irrigating Crops or Green Areas.
- Ministry of Ecology, sustainable development and energy
- Ministry for Social Affairs and Public Health
- Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-Food and forests
Available here (in French)
2011 – Common Ministerial Decision No 145116 (354B)/08.03.11: Measures, Limits and Procedures for Reuse of Treated Wastewater.
- Hellenic Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
Available here (in Greek)
2007 – Regulations for Water Reuse – Royal Decree RD 1620/2007 of 7 December, State Official Journal, BOE no. 294, of 8 December 207, pages 50,639 to 50,661.
The decree establishes a legal framework for the reuse of treated wastewater, ensuring wastewater recycling and reuse is performed under principles ensuring optimum health and environmental protection.
- Ministry of Environment
- Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Ministry of Health