In 2017, the drinking water sector set up the Standardisation Contact Group for Water Companies (CND, after its Dutch initials), with the objective of delineating its responsibility and protecting its interests in the creation process of relevant standards and guidelines. This applies both internally, within the water companies and, externally, in collaboration with other water companies. Externally, the water companies want to participate in the most relevant organisations and consultative bodies while, internally, they want to increase the attention given to standardisation in their organisations.
Renewed attention for standardisation
The Dutch water companies operate within a strict legal framework. The Drinking Water Act and the Dutch Decree on Water Quality establish compulsory standards for water companies in the Netherlands. In addition, there are voluntary standards that have been declared applicable, among others, those in the assessment guidelines of the certification company, Kiwa Netherlands. These standards include numerous references to international, particularly European, standards. Governments, manufacturers, branch organisations, certification institutes and water companies have long been involved in the creation of the standards system applicable to the provision of drinking water in the Netherlands. Over the last few years the collaboration between the different stakeholders has however become unbalanced, in part because the commitment and the expertise at the water companies has declined. Through the renewed attention for standardisation, the water companies aim to safeguard the continuity of their contribution to the standardisation process. The activities of the CND fall under the responsibility of the Vewin Soil & Infrastructure steering group.
Putting standardisation on the map
The anticipated outcomes for 2018 are:
- The importance of standardisation and certification is highlighted within the companies by means of appropriate communications.
- Three CND meetings are held, allowing for the active exchange of knowledge and experience in the area standardisation and certification. Compelling external speakers are also invited.
- An overview of the Dutch standardisation and certification playing field. This means that the CND will signal and react to developments in areas of standardisation and certification that are important for water companies and, if required, actions will be taken to respond to these developments.
- An overview of the European standardisation and certification playing field.
- A proposal regarding the required commitment to safeguard standardisation by the drinking water sector, including a section on the associated financial implications.