The Commission propose strong obligations on water loss and energy performance in the new drinking water directive

Press release from Danish Environment Technology Association (DETA)

The Commission propose strong obligations on water loss and energy performance in the new drinking water directive

New European Commission proposal recasts the 1998 Drinking Water Directive to increase transparency in the drinking water sector supporting better use of technology solutions. Danish Environment Technology Association (DETA) welcomes the new approach but would also like to see some more ambition.

After 20 years in place, the European Commission proposes updates to the Drinking Water Directive to ensure the preservation and improvement of a healthy drinking water supply. The new proposal will increase transparency in the drinking water sector, asking suppliers to inform the public about their energy use and water losses.

DETA has at an early stage and in the public consultation on the blueprint of the drinking water directive argued for strong new obligations for water loss and better energy performance.

Full transparency on water loss and energy consumption is key in order to protect the drinking water resource base and secure healthy and affordable drinking water for all Europeans” says Jonas Fredsted Villadsen, Head of Secretariat, DETA

If the new directive should be fit for purpose it should address the pathway to achieve the 2030 Agenda and SDG 6 on water. It should secure use of resource efficient solutions to better protection of the drinking water resource base.

EU-water utilities cannot continuously supply clean, healthy and affordable drinking water for all, if the resource-base is depleted. In some EU countries there are water losses way over 50 %.

The new proposal shows the right direction on the path towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water. Danish Companies are ready to showcase the most cost-effective solutions in all parts of the EU to unlock the great potential this proposal gives. We are very satisfied with the Commission proposal but we could also see a possibility for more ambition and clear targets for water and energy efficiency.

The proposal also launches a new risk- based monitoring approach which supports better use of technology for continuously monitoring and ads new and emerging substances to the list of criteria for determining water safety (such as legionella and chlorate).

Now its up to the members states, The EU-Parliament and the EU-Commission to raise the level of ambition and finalize the negotiations of the text in due time before the EU-Parliament elections next year.


  • EU cohesion policy will invest €14.8 billion in the water sector between 2014-2020, providing an additional 12 million people with improved water supply (EU-Commission)
  • Water scarcity affects at least 11 % of the European population (EU-Commission)
  • The water losses in public supply are estimated at a staggering 24% in the EU, amounting to 13billion cubic meters. (International Energy Agency (IEA))
  • The energy consumption of the EU’s water sector is equivalent to 3.5% of the EU’ electricity consumption and typically represents 30 – 50 % of the local authority’s electricity consumption. (International Energy Agency (IEA))