On October 9, 2018, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) debated the report on minimum requirements for water reuse.
Unfortunately, neither the European Union nor the world in general has infinite water resources. However, I will not insist on the importance of water for sustaining life and agriculture. Nevertheless, we have come to the point where agriculture cannot rely on natural cycles and phenomena any longer. People need to actively intervene and develop technologies and procedures for water reuse! The draft regulation proposed by the European Commission aims to include minimum standards that water reusing operators have to respect to produce high quality reusable water.
The AGRI rapporteur, Marija Petir, has already produced a series of amendments and a set of justifications. As far as the risks are concerned, it is justified that the proposal applies the experiences in the USA, New Zealand, Australia that already use recovered water and it is considered sufficient to only rely just on their their experience. However, conditions in these countries differ from the conditions in the EU. I, as shadow rapporteur, will suggest through amendments that specific studies should be carried before dealing making strict proposals on reusable water standards.
In addition, I want to emphasize that, above all, we need minimum EU standards for reused water. We cannot take risks when it comes to this topic. More than the health of plants that could be affected by infested water irrigations, we must also think about soil that can persist and affect production for years. All this is necessary to help the beneficiaries be open to the use of recovered water. The Commission and the Member States must carry out public information campaigns in this regard. At the same time, we need to make sure that this project encourages and supports operators in the field of water re-entry and does not discourage or burden them with unnecessary administrative burdens.