New EU regulations for agricultural reuse
The European Council, seeing the risk of water shortages for crop irrigation, has agreed on a position to reduce these risks with regulations on urban wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation.
The new regulations will fall in line with a circular economy, improving water availability and encouraging efficient use. Furthermore, regulations such as this can lower the risk of crop shortages during heatwaves and droughts.
There will be strict requirements for the quality of the water and how to ensure it will not be a danger to human or animal health or to the environment. bAs in most schemes of this nature, hygiene regulations will still apply and be followed.
Several EU member states already have a great deal of success with reuse schemes already, including in agriculture. The member states have flexibility to choose whether they use recycling schemes for irrigation, as the climate and geography vary across the EU.
Member states are keen to confirm that the requirements continue to be based on the latest scientific evidence, so the regulations contain a clause stating the Commission will assess the need for reviews on water quality requirements.