The Minister of Waters and Forests, Ioan Deneș, together with Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Grațiela Gavrilescu have chaired, on Wednesday, the Environment Council meeting, held in Luxembourg. The segment concerning water, chaired by Minister Ioan Deneș, was concluded with a notable success, the agreement on the general approach to the Water Reuse file, which was one of the priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“My counterparts and I have had intense and fruitful discussions on the proposed Regulation on water reuse, whereby we agreed upon the general approach to this file. This is an important result for the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, and I am pleased that by this agreement we demonstrate to European citizens the importance we ascribe to the need to adapt to climate change and to secure a safe water source for irrigation,” said Ioan Deneș.
Additionally, the Minister of Waters and Forests underscored the fact that establishing minimal quality requirements for reclaimed water will help increase consumers’ trust in farm produce where reclaimed water was used and it will help eliminate barriers to their circulation on the internal market. Another important aspect of the proposal is risk management, which covers the entire system of water reuse, from the water reclaiming station to the final user (farmer).
“This approach aims to proactively identify and manage risks associated to reclaimed water used for irrigation to ensure an adequate level of protection for human, animal and environment health,” Minister Ioan Deneș further emphasised.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Waters and Forests, Ioan Deneș was joined by Minister of the Environment Grațiela Gavrilescu and the European Commissioner for the environment, maritime affairs and fisheries, Karmenu Vella, for a press conference where he also delivered a short overview of the results of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council in the field of environment and water management. In this context the two overall approaches were highlighted – the Regulation on water reuse, adopted today, and the Drinking Water Directive, adopted by the Environment Council on 5 March 2019, the preparation, coordination and ensuring the representation of the EU at the meeting of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, as well as discussions and exchange of opinions on topics of interest organised at the informal Environment Council held in Bucharest. Additionally, the minister recalled the major events on water management organised by the Ministry of Waters and Forests: The Conference on water directives implementation and the Seminar on water and agriculture.
“On these occasions we had very useful exchanges, both on a technical and a political level, and we shared experiences about water management” added Minister Ioan Deneș.