NMWE joins 19 signatories calling for urban wastewater ambition

23 January 2024

We have joined 19 signatories from the non-profit world and business in calling for ambition in the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive trilogues.

Proper treatment of wastewater is a key part of nature restoration and protecting drinking water quality. Substantial improvements will require engagement from wider stakeholders beyond municipalities. As climate change places increasing pressure on our natural systems, the revision of the directive is an important opportunity to help reduce pollution from urban sources and improve water quality across the European Union.

The signatories call on the European Parliament, European Commission and Council of the EU to:

  • Ensure coherent rules across the EU without exemptions for selected Member States or regions, avoiding further delays for coastal regions;
  • Maintain 100,000 p.e. as the threshold for intermediary targets for tertiary and quaternary treatment and ensure that quaternary treatment is installed by 2035;
  • Ensure a timely introduction of integrated urban wastewater management plans that prioritise green and blue infrastructure to climate-proof cities and reduce pollution from urban wastewaters and runoffs;
  • Set up an obligation to communicate in real time any information on the risk of pollution that could have an impact on aquaculture farmers, drinking water suppliers and other legitimate users;
  • Establish an obligation to make publicly available the Integrated Urban Wastewater Management Plans and the results of the risk assessments;
  • Return to the Commission’s proposal (as amended by the EP and Council) that the wastewater sector produces renewable energy on or offsite, to be consumed on or offsite that cover by 2040 100% of this sector’s energy consumption, to ensure that the EU reaches climateneutrality by 2050;
  • Ensure the new Directive is a signal and a tool to implement the circular economy for water, energy and materials throughout EU territories.

Read the full letter here.


Euroheat and Power
European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE)
European Biogas Association
European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB)
European Fishing Tackle and Trade Association (EFTTA)
European Water Association (EWA)
Natural Mineral Waters Europe (NMWE)
Optigrün international
World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN)

Association française des toitures et façades végétales
Associação Nacional de Coberturas Verdes
Comité National de la Conchyliculture (CNC)
German Association of Building Greening (BuGG)