This section includes news about national and international water supply legislation as well as progress reports on current regulatory reviews.

The Water Safety Plan Approach and the European Drinking Water Directive
The water safety plan approach came to prominence in 2004 with the publication of the third edition of the World Health Organizationís Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.

Among the benefits of the water safety plan approach is that, wherever possible, risks are controlled in a sustainable manner where the hazard occurs so less reliance is placed on water treatment processes, reducing costs and carbon footprint and monitoring should become more targeted to the identified risks. These benefits make the water safety plan approach an attractive basis for a revised European Drinking Water Directive. This article by David Drury reviews the principles and applications of water safety plans.

Article 10 of the 1998 Drinking Water Directive requires Member States to ensure that the water treatment chemicals and the materials and products that are used in the abstraction, treatment and distribution of drinking water do not reduce the level of protection that is provided for by the Directive. This article reviews the measures that Member States and the European Union are pursuing to ensure compliance with Article 10.

Update on Revision of Drinking Water Directive
The current Drinking Water Directive (DWD) was published in 1998. As early as 2003 the Commission organised a stakeholder consultation on the need for revision. This resulted in a broad consensus that amendments to the parameters lists and introduction of a risk based approach (comparable to that of Water Safety Plans) were desirable. The Commission subsequently appointed two committees under Article 12 of the DWD to examine (a) microbiological parameters and (b) sampling and analysis. At the same time consultants were appointed to develop proposals for chemical parameters.

Seven years on and the Commission appear to have little appetite for a new Directive, although arguments for introducing greater flexibility while maintaining health protection and consumer confidence are compelling. For more information