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Drinking-Water Directive entered into force

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

On 16 December 2020, the European Official Journal of the EU published the outcome of Directive 2020/2184 (L435/1) on the quality of water intended for human consumption, commonly known as “Drinking Water Directive”.

The agreed text builds upon and goes even beyond the recommendations of the World Health Organisation on safety standards for drinking water.  The Directive introduces the obligation for Member States to improve or maintain access to safe drinking water for all, with a focus on vulnerable and marginalised groups. It also foresees better access to information for citizens regarding water suppliers, concerning for example the quality and supply of drinking water in their living area. The Directive will improve consumers’ confidence in drinking water from the tap, cutting waste from the use of plastic bottled water.

HOTREC very much welcomes that Member States may take measures, such as encouraging the provision of serving water for free or for a low service fee, for customers in restaurants, canteens, and catering services. Therefore, an obligation to provide water for free is not in place.

The text should be implemented at national level until 12 January 2023 in all Member States.