Brussels seeks options on how to up water reuse

A European Union (EU) public consultation on “policy options to optimise water reuse in the EU” is approaching its close as the bloc seeks to exploit a “significant potential for further development of water reuse” among member states.

According to the EU: “in spite of its numerous advantages and development potential, the reuse of reclaimed water is not widely implemented in many member states.” Brussels is considering a range of possible measures spanning no intervention and full legislation. It has identified chief obstacles to greater deployment of water reuse including commercial regulatory, legal, and technical elements. Examples included widely differing standards between member states and lack of public acceptance for water reuse.

The consultation is looking to “evaluate the most suitable EU-level instruments to foster water reuse, while ensuring the health and environmental safety of water reuse practices and the free trade of food products, “said the EU.

Brussels anticipates that the increasing instances of drought and other impacts of climate change will drive further interest in water reuse. And it notes that a number of EU states are drawing up policy frameworks to include reuse while those lacking suitable technology are developing their technical capacity to bring on water reuse.

The EU said the results of the consultation will be used in its preparation of an impact assessment covering all key areas of potential application of water reuse including: agriculture, urban, industrial, and recreational uses as well as groundwater recharge.