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How can the EU improve your supply of drinking water? - 25/06/2014

A young girl drinks a glass of clear water ©

The EU wants to hear your views: how can the supply of drinking water in Europe be improved, to guarantee everyone affordable access to clean, safe water?

The public consultation covers areas including

  • water quality
  • the main threats to clean water
  • whether the public needs better information about drinking water.

It comes in response to the Right2Water campaign, a European Citizens' Initiative. These initiatives enable citizens to call on the EU to propose legislation on a particular issue. The EU must then state what action it intends to take.

Right2Water was submitted in December 2013 with the support of 1.6m people. It urged the EU to

  • ensure that everyone living in Europe enjoys the right to water and sanitation
  • step up its efforts to achieve universal access to clean, safe water
  • make sure that the supply and management of water resources are not subject to “internal market rules”, i.e. guarantee that local authorities can choose the way in which water-related services are to be provided.

The public consultation – which you can take part in up to 15 September 2014 – is part of the EU's response to the initiative. It will bring together the views of citizens and those involved with managing the water supply, to assess what improvements are needed.

Other commitments which the EU has made in response to Right2Water include

  • greater transparency with regard to water service providers
  • stronger efforts to ensure that national governments are implementing EU law on water and sanitation correctly.

Water is a human right

Access to safe drinking water is recognised as a human right by both the UN and the EU. For this obligation to be met, water must be affordable, physically available to all and of good quality.

The EU has already set high standards for water quality in Europe and provided financial support to expand water infrastructure in European countries, thus improving accessibility.

It has also contributed €2.5bn since 2007 towards water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

Right2Water – more information

Give your views – take part in the consultation 

EU Drinking Water Directive - overview

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