Today, the European Commission proposes updates for the 1998 Drinking Water Directive to increase transparency in the drinking water sector. Danfoss welcomes the proposal as it will drive investments to reduce energy consumption and drinking water leakage, which are two parts of the same coin.
After 20 years in place, the European Commission proposes updates to the Drinking Water Directive to ensure the preservation and improvement of a healthy drinking water supply. The new proposal will increase transparency in the drinking water sector, asking suppliers to inform the public about their energy use and water losses. Both are equally important for the quality of the drinking water to limit contamination risks.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), water losses in public supply are estimated at a staggering 24% in the EU, amounting to 13 billion cubic meters. The energy consumption of the EU’s water sector is equivalent to 3.5% of the EU’s electricity consumption and typically represents 30–50% of the local authority’s electricity consumption.
“Water and energy are too precious to lose. Today’s proposal is the first step towards more energy efficiency and sustainable drinking water treatment in Europe,” explains Mads Warming, Danfoss Global Director for Water and Wastewater. He adds: “Danfoss has the technologies ready to turn the water sector energy neutral and, at the same time, obtain super low leakage and protect our valuable resources”.
A case story from Denmark shows the incredible potential of the European water sector: Since 2010, the city of Aarhus implemented energy saving measures in the whole water cycle and optimized the energy production from the wastewater facility. Today, the city has succeeded to make the whole water cycle completely energy neutral, and, as a side effect, water losses could be reduced to only around 6%, and, in 2016, the price of water dropped by 9% for consumers.
The World Economic Forum lists the water crises, the decline in the available quality and quantity of fresh water, amongst the five global risks that will have the biggest impact on society in the next decade. The revision of the Directive should therefore accelerate investments into more sustainable drinking water management and reduce water leakage and energy consumption significantly.