Smart Water Magazine
Connecting Waterpeople

You are here

European Parliament approves increased water reuse

  • European Parliament approves increased water reuse
    European Parliament. Credit: Wikipedia
  • Water scarcity is affecting more and more EU countries.

  • More water reuse expected to alleviate the stress on freshwater supply.

  • EU farmers will have more water available for irrigation, also during heatwaves.

About the entity

European Parliament
The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level. The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests.

To prevent water shortages in the EU, Parliament approved on Tuesday the Water Reuse Regulation.

The new law defines minimum requirements at European level for the first time for reclaimed water (i.e. urban wastewater that has been treated in a reclamation plant) to be used for agricultural purposes in a safe way, protecting people and the environment. It was adopted without a vote at the opening of the Plenary.

The new rules aim to ensure that treated wastewater is more broadly reused in order to limit use from water bodies and groundwater. The fall in groundwater levels, due in particular to agricultural irrigation, but also industrial use and urban development, is one of the main threats to the EU water environment.

We could potentially reuse 6.6 billion cubic metres of water by 2025, compared to the current 1.1 billion cubic metres per year

"This marks another important milestone towards the transition to a circular economy for water resources. In this way, step by step, we are bringing concrete results for the environment", said lead MEP Simona Bonafè (S&D, IT).

"We could potentially reuse 6.6 billion cubic metres of water by 2025, compared to the current 1.1 billion cubic metres per year. That would require an investment of less than EUR 700 million and would enable us to reuse more than half of the current volume of water coming from EU wastewater treatment plants theoretically available for irrigation, avoiding more than 5 % of direct extraction from water bodies and groundwater”, she added.

Next steps

The adopted measures will enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and shall apply three years after entry into force.


According to the Commission’s Report on the European Water Scarcity and Droughts Policy, water scarcity remains an increasingly big problem for many member states. At least 11% of the European population and 17% of its territory have been affected by water scarcity. During summer, over half of the population in the Mediterranean region is affected by water stress (Source: European Commission).

Subscribe to our newsletter

Topics of interest

The data provided will be treated by iAgua Conocimiento, SL for the purpose of sending emails with updated information and occasionally on products and / or services of interest. For this we need you to check the following box to grant your consent. Remember that at any time you can exercise your rights of access, rectification and elimination of this data. You can consult all the additional and detailed information about Data Protection.