Safe drinking water is essential for public health and well-being. The European Union has among the highest drinking water quality standards worldwide, due to over 30 years of successful EU drinking water policies and rules. Тhe Commission updated Directive (EU) 2020/2184 (the Drinking Water Directive) which now includes updated safety standards, introduces a methodology to identify and manage quality risks in the whole water supply chain, establishes a watch list of emerging substances and introduces conformity provisions for products to be used in contact with drinking water. The new directive tackles water leakages as now on average 23% of the treated water is lost during distribution in the EU. The directive also includes new provisions that require Member States to improve and maintain access to drinking water for all, and for vulnerable and marginalised groups in particular.
Member States had the obligation to transpose these new EU provisions into their national systems by 12 January 2023, and to communicate their national transposition measures to the Commission. To date, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden, failed to notify national measures fully transposing the Directive by the set deadline and will therefore be receiving letters of formal notice.