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Drinking Water

What's new ?

  • 28/10/2015: EU introduces more efficient monitoring of drinking water for better protection of public health. Read more...
  • Learn more about the Commission’s most recent activities in relation to drinking water policy via this link!
  • You will find on these pages the latest on the amendments to Annexes II and III, the Evaluation of the Directive, and the completed public consultation following the first successful European Citizen’s Initiative 'Right2Water'


High quality, safe and sufficient drinking water is essential for our daily life, for drinking and food preparation. We also use it for many other purposes, such as washing, cleaning, hygiene or watering our plants. 

The European Union has a history of over 30 years of drinking water policy. This policy ensures that water intended for human consumption can be consumed safely on a life-long basis, and this represents a high level of health protection. The main pillars of the policy are to:

  • Ensure that drinking water quality is controlled through standards based on the latest scientific evidence;
  • Secure an efficient and effective monitoring, assessment and enforcement of drinking water quality;
  • Provide the consumers with adequate, timely and appropriately information;
  • Contribute to the broader EU water and health policy;

This web page aims at providing you an overview on the legislation and its implementation as well as giving information, e.g. where to find national drinking water portals across the EU.

When we turn on the tap, we rarely think about where the water comes from or where it goes afterwards. Bo Jacobsen, European Environment Agency (EEA) water expert, explains the true value of tap water.


by the European Environment Agency