The new drinking water regulation reduces the amount of pesticides allowed

Thanks to a new regulation of water for human consumption, it will be safer due to the reduction in the amount of prohibited and unauthorized pesticides.

Royal Decree 3/2023 on water for human consumption, from January this year, introduces an improvement in the amount of hazardous pesticides allowed.

In order to protect human health, the new standard limits the amount of prohibited and unauthorized pesticides allowed in drinking water. For authorized pesticides, it maintains the previous limit of 0.1 µg/liter. But it introduces a new, more restrictive limit for banned and unauthorized pesticides. This new limit of 0.03 µg/l, which in the previous legislation only applied to four substances, now applies to all pesticides other than authorized ones. It is an important change because unauthorized and prohibited substances are numerous, in addition to being much more toxic and dangerous to health and ecosystems.

Interestingly, the also new Royal Decree 2/2023 that regulates the exploitation of natural mineral waters, spring waters and prepared waters conditioned for human consumption, also from January 2023, does not introduce this distinction between authorized and unauthorized pesticides, maintaining the same limit for both groups, 0.1 µg/l.

Tighter regulations for drinking water

That is, for pesticides that are prohibited or unauthorized because they are very toxic, tap water has a stricter regulation of 0.03 µg/l than bottled water, which is 0.1 µg/l.

Those who choose to buy bottled water because of their own desire or, more commonly, because water in their area has not been properly managed by administrations, pay much more for water that allows more than three times the amount of banned pesticides.

Ecologists in Action highlights the need for all administrations responsible for the supply of drinking water to fulfill their responsibilities and ensure that what is written in the new standard is a reality in our taps. Likewise, it requires proper water management to ensure a healthy water supply for all populations.

The environmental organization has always drawn attention to the contradiction that European and Spanish regulations on water for human consumption allow HCH-lindane values ​​up to 2.5 times higher than those established for the environmental quality of surface water. He also insisted on the need to modify legislation on water for human consumption and match these limit values.

History of the new regulation

In March 2018, complaints were presented in the process of reviewing the European directives on the quality of drinking water and, in January 2020, the initiatives were transferred to the groups of the Spanish Parliament and the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge. Likewise, meetings were held with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Consumption.

Ecologists in Action welcomes the legislative change that occurred in the new legislation on water for human consumption, which results in greater protection of piped water. However, she regrets that the Ministry of Consumption has not done the same with bottled water. The environmental organization hopes that this ministry will correct this situation, that the regulations will be transposed to all the autonomous communities and that their compliance will be monitored.

More information: Javier Vázquez, 667 936 126, and Koldo Hernández, 678 967 727, spokespersons for Ecologistas en Acción


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