Policy and Regulations

Common implementation strategy for the water framework directive and the floods directive (2016)

Guidelines on Integrating Water Reuse into Water Planning and Management in the context of the WFD
Document endorsed by EU Water Directors at their meeting in Amsterdam on 10th June 2016



Published in June 2016, "These guidelines provide information and assistance to relevant Member State authorities to support planning for the reuse of treated wastewater, where appropriate, such as following the Art. 5 analysis in River Basins Management Plans and its inclusion as a supplementary measure in Programmes of Measures in cases where water scarcity is identified as a significant pressure. The reuse of treated wastewater can be an important tool to contribute as a local solution to achieving the objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and to contribute to a more resource efficient economy as well as to adapt to climate change. It is designed to help Member States in improving such consideration in the implementation of the WFD.

They focus on the reuse of collected wastewater that achieves, after treatment as necessary, a quality standard that is appropriate for its intended use (taking account of the health and environmental7 risks and local and EU legislation). The present guidelines focus on urban waste water. Reuse of industrial wastewater is included in relation to planning as it is important to understand the potential for reuse by industry within water management planning. The reuse of rainwater and of greywater (e.g. for domestic purposes such as toilet flushing) is not within the scope of the guidelines.

The intended audience for these guidelines is policy makers, water resource planners, river basin managers and those in the water industry, irrigation associations, etc. These guidelines illustrate the policy and planning context of the reuse of treated wastewater. As no common EU standards are yet in place, this document does not recommend particular treatment standards or particular technologies for treatment, but refers readers to other sources for such information. Recognising this is an important issue in the planning process and a review of this document will be considered if minimum EU-standards are established in the future. Also, while the guidelines strongly recognise the importance of engagement with the public, they are not themselves intended as a tool for such engagement."

The full document is accessible at:


Water Reuse in Europe - Relevant guidelines, needs for and barriers to innovation (2015)

JRC science and policy reports
Authors: Alcalde Sanz L. & GAWLIK, B.



Despite the water reuse applications already developed in many countries, a number of barriers still prevent the widespread implementation of water reuse around Europe and on a global scale. These barriers will have to be overcome. This JRC Science and Policy Report analyses the technical, environmental and socioeconomic challenges to the option of water reuse as a means of ensuring sufficient supply to meet the growing needs of society. It presents and compares the most relevant national and international guidelines on water reuse, evaluates existing water reuse standards in EU Member States, presents a risk-based management approach for wastewater reuse, and identifies the areas that require technological and regulatory innovation as well as the barriers to be overcome.

The full document is accessible at:


EU-level instruments on water reuse - Final report to support the Commission's Impact Assessment (2016)

European Comission
Authors: Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd, IEEP, ACTeon, IMDEA and NTUA.

This report on the development of EU-level instrument(s) on water reuse was prepared by Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure UK Ltd, the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), ACTeon, IMDEA and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) for the European Commission to support the impact assessment of the policy options identified by the European Commission. Published in 2016, the report is "a follow-up to the initial support report delivered by BIO (BIO, 2015). The policy options have been defined in accordance with the Inception Impact by the European Commission and the impacts are assessed against a simplified (and now superseded) version of a draft proposal developed by the JRC on ‘Development of minimum quality requirements at EU level for water reuse in agricultural irrigation and aquifer as minimum quality requirements considered in the IA). The authors suggest that “the content of the report could be used as one source of information by the European Commission to produce the Impact Assessment report should it decide to go forward with making a legislative proposal based on the updated proposal of the EU (JRC). However, further work would be needed in order to update the review of the economics, environmental and social impacts of the final proposal of the EU which is not yet available

The full document is accessible at:

Report "EU-level instruments on water reuse", Amec FW et al., 2016 

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Water Reuse Europe has been set up with support from the European Commission through the DEMOWARE research project.