Why a new directive?

The previous version of the DWD, established in 1998, emphasized the importance of maintaining the quality of drinking water and preventing any adverse health effects. The European Commission cites the following reasons for the new DWD:

  • Updating existing safety standards and developing an 'emerging substances' watchlist.
  • Introduction of a 'risk-based approach' (RBA) covering the entire supply chain.
  • Access to water: an obligation for member states to improve or maintain access to safe drinking water for everyone, especially vulnerable and marginalized groups.
  • Provisions regarding substances and materials/products in contact with drinking water (Article 11 DWD).
  • Greater transparency for consumers (public information).


DWD - history

The new Drinking Water Directive did not come out of nowhere. It is the recast of the old 1998 DWD, taking the developments of the last decades into account. This includes the EAS and 4MSI results and the Right2Water initiative.

Illustratie_DWD historie_v2.png

DWD - next steps

With the adoption of the article 11 acts by the commission, the next steps for the EU approval system for products in contact with drinking water are shown below. After legal scrutiny and if no objections are raised by European Parliament and Council, the acts will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. 20 days later, they enter into force.


DWD - transition

With the entry into force of the Acts, the current situation of national approvals will transition into the EU system. Starting in 2027, products entering the EU market will need to comply. Products with existing national approvals have until end of 2032 to comply.


Click on the image to download it.