29 March 2021 / Vienna, Austria
Waste Water News: DWP KnowNow Webinar Summary Available – and the EU Turns to Wastewater Monitoring to Fight Covid-19
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
29 March 2021

On 18 March the Danube Water Program held its second KnowNow Webinar, presenting firsthand information on the ongoing revision of the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. The day before the European Commission had adopted a recommendation on monitoring COVID-19 and its variants in wastewaters in the EU.

Encouraged by a lot of positive feedback, the Danube Water Program continues its Know Know program, a series of compact webinars on relevant topics for the water sector in the Danube region. The second edition covered the revision process the European Union Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive is currently undergoing.

Nele Rosenstock, Policy Officer at the European Commission's Directorate General for Environment, presented an overview of the Directive, its place in the EU water legislation architecture, the results of a recent comprehensive evaluation and the current impact assessment process as a basis for a successful revision.

Ms. Rosenstock's fellow panelists then joined in with perspectives from their own fields of expertise: From the EurEau secretariat in Brussels, Bertrand Vallet contributed the view of a large international sector federation, Danko Biondic of Croatian Waters reported on the state of things and the difficulties with implementing the Directive in the youngest member state of the EU, and Gheorghe Constantin joined in to explain why money is not always the main hurdle when countries in the region implement projects.

Wrapping the webinar up, Nele Rosenstock thanked the panel for valuable insights and called for transparency in the revision process: “When things go wrong one can always blame Brussels, but eventually it will be up to the member states come to an agreement.”

In a timely coincidence that nonetheless proves the value of cooperation in the wastewater sector, the European Commission has adopted a recommendation on monitoring COVID-19 and its variants in wastewaters in the EU. The recommendation asks all Member States to implement wastewater surveillance systems and forward relevant data promptly to the competent health authorities.

Common methods for sampling, measurement and data analysis, supported by a European exchange platform will be available to ensure that the collected data are both reliable and comparable. It will be crucial to support the sharing of best practices between Member States and with third countries that may not readily have access to such data.

The Commission will provide financial assistance to support wastewater surveillance activities and the systematic analysis of variants as well as to create a dedicated European exchange platform.

For more in-depth information on the  KnowNow webinar as well as the newly released recommendation, please consult the links below.

VoD - Cleaning Up: The Review of the EU Urban Waste Water Directive

The Danube Water Program KnowNow webinar series focuses on up-to-date topics relevant for the water sector in the Danube region....

Revision of the UWWTD - Water pollution - Environment - European Commission

Legislative texts regarding water pollution in the EU, including the directive, its amendment and deadlines imposed by the directive.