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EU Green Week
Conferences and summits

The very source of wellbeing: clean, affordable water and sanitation for all

The discussion will centre on access to public water supply - or lack thereof - and what can be done to ensure that more people are afforded this basic right.

© Sergey via Adobe Stock

See the recording of this session

Ensuring access to clean water and sanitation is one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6). While substantial progress has been made in increasing access to clean drinking water and sanitation, billions of people—mostly in rural areas—still lack these basic services. 

In the EU, millions of citizens still do not have access to sufficient and clean water. In 2017, the Commission estimated that 23 million people or 4.5 % of the total EU population were not connected to the public water supply. This affects some Member States more than others.  

To remedy this situation, the EU recently modernised its Drinking Water Directive and the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, adding explicit provisions to ensure better access to water, particularly for vulnerable and marginalised groups. This raises questions of financing and investment in water services and how to enable cost-recovery in the water price whilst ensuring the affordability and rentability of water services. 

Our panelists will take stock of all of this and more.


  • water | water protection | water pollution | environmental protection
  • Thursday 30 May 2024, 14:30 - 15:30 (CEST)
  • Belgium
  • Belgium


Practical information

Thursday 30 May 2024, 14:30 - 15:30 (CEST)
Charlemagne building, Gasperi room