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EU regulations related to water and sanitation and the hygienic risks related to poor sanitation practices. Prof Thor Axel Stenström Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control SE-17182 Solna, Sweden Presentation at the “High-Level Policy Dialogue on “EU Sanitation Policies and Practices in the 2008 International Year of Sanitation”, Brussel 29th Jan 2008.
Background protective criteria for environmental legislation implementation. • World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. • Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) and Water Efficiency Plans by 2005. • 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation. • Implementation of MDGs.
Primary functionsof the environmental laws. • Health protection • Environmental protection • Resource recovery
Health protection • Protection against: • Transfer of hygiene risks into recipient lakes, streams, groundwater, crops or direct exposure. • Less or No Treatment or Process Failure: Elevated risk of disease transmission • Reduction of human exposure: Accounting for hygienic risks in a multiple barrier and management perspective.
Environmental protection • Efficient in terms of: • lakes and sea • related to groundwater and soil degradation • protection from eutrophication and long time degradation.
Resource Recovery • Recycling of nutrients • Nutrient-rich sludge, excreta and wastewater may based on a source-separation context be made useful as resources. • Limitations: toxic compounds. • Drivers: Costs • For example: The prices of extraction of phosphorous raised more than 4 times during the last year.
Does the current legislation focus on health protection? • The Rome Treaty • The Water Framework Directive • The Drinking Water Directive • The Bathing Water Directive • WHO Drinking Water and Recreational Water Guidelines. - Water Safety Planning
Is the Human Impact covered related to Sanitation? • EU Directive 91/271/EEC on urban wastewater treatment. • The landfill directive; 1999/31/EC. • Directive 86/278/EEC on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage is used in agriculture. • The Groundwater Directive
Is the Human Impact covered related to Sanitation? • The Guidelines for the Safe Use of Wastewater, Excreta and Greywater – WHO. • Focussing on both health aspects and the reuse and resource recovery • Developed around the Risk Assessment and Risk Management concept • A System approach with Risk Reduction Targets
How applicable is the EU framework on communicable diseases to environmental health protection? • Amsterdam Treaty, Article 152 of the EC Treaty. • Community health strategy. the European Community [COM(2000) 285 final. • The public health framework • Include: theprevention and monitoring of communicable diseases, through the network of epidemiological surveillanceand control of communicable diseases, set up in 1999. (Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament)
Each national structure and/or authority must communicate to the Community network and to the Commission: • the information on communicable diseases and control measures set out in the Decision; • any useful information concerning an epidemic situation or epidemics that are unusual or of unclear origin in the Member State concerned; • any information for evaluation that will aid cooperation between Member States for the purpose of preventing and controlling communicable diseases.
Can the ECE 1999 (EUR/ICP/EHCO 020205/8Fin) Protocol on Water and Health function as the bridging mechanism? • Ratification process • The aim of the Protocol is to protect human health and well being by better water management, including the protection of water ecosystems, and by preventing, controlling and reducing water-related diseases. • The Protocol is the first international agreement of its kind adopted specifically to attain an adequate supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation for everyone, and effectively protect water used as a source of drinking water.
Can the ECE 1999 (EUR/ICP/EHCO 020205/8Fin) Protocol on Water and Health function as the bridging mechanism? • Parties are required to establish national and local targets for the quality of drinking water and the quality of discharges, • as well as for the performance of water supply and waste-water treatment. • They are also required to reduce outbreaks and the incidence of water-related diseases. • Water resources management should link social and economic development to the protection of natural ecosystems. • “Actions should be taken at the lowest appropriate administrative level”
Bridging functions • Amalgamates the disease surveillance mechanisms as well as the general regulations within the EU Directives. • Open up for a more transparent process in the Caucasian and Central Asian countries. • Include protection of the most vulnerable individuals to water-related diseases accounting for both a pro-poor approach and follows the general objectives stated by WHO as well as in the MDGs.
Article 6, Targets and Target Dates of the Protocol. • Level of performance of water supply and sanitation systems • Good Management Practise • The impact of untreated wastewater and untreated stormwater • Quality of discharges of wastewater • The disposal or reuse of sewage sludge from collective systems of sanitation or other sanitation installations. • The quality of waste water used for irrigation • Within two years of becoming a Party; establish and publish targets and target dates for achieving them. This should also refer to the transboundary contexts