I got the following as a reader comment. It’s a statement that appears to be direct from Janez Potočnik’s office. He is a European Commissioner for Environment and he refutes the story that they plan to mandate water saving measures in Europe. That’s a relief – saved from another stupid idea, at least for now (Don’t worry though – they’ve got plenty of others, for sure).
The statement was sent by a fellow named Joe Hennon.
Statement by Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment
I am aware of allegations that appeared in the German press concerning future plans to restrict water use in the Member States and to impose regulations on landlords and households. These allegations are unfounded.
I wish to make it very clear that the Commission has no plans at present to make water-saving taps mandatory in any Member State, no plans to oblige Member States to reduce household water consumption, and no targets have been set in these areas.
The main aim of EU water policy has always been to ensure that good quality water is available throughout the EU in sufficient quantities. The Commission is committed to addressing water scarcity as part of a Blueprint for Water in 2012 and, as always, a number of studies are ongoing in this area.
Several policy options are being examined regarding the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of regulatory and non-regulatory options for water performance requirements for buildings, but no new decisions have been taken in this area, nor are they indeed pending.
The European law-making process is a highly consultative one. When legislation is proposed, proposals are accompanied by studies assessing the potential environmental, social and economic effects. Any targets or legislation in the area of water use would be accompanied by the appropriate impact assessment as a matter of course, taking account of the extent to which the situation in Europe is diverse, with a view to avoiding a “one size fits all” approach.
I regret that articles on sensitive questions such as Commission proposals for water use in Member States appear in the media before any details have been checked with the relevant staff at the European Commission
(No mention if Joe Hennon is an aide to Potočnik, or what his function is.)