Federal Council adopts revised Water Protection Ordinance
On 16 December 2022, the Federal Council approved the revised Water Protection Ordinance defining the criteria for when the authorisation of a pesticide must be reviewed. In this way, drinking water and surface waters will be better protected from pesticides.
The authorisation of a pesticide is reviewed when three criteria are met: First, exposure must be detected in at least three cantons within one year. Second, limit value exceedances must occur in at least two out of five consecutive years. Third, the contamination must have been detected in at least 5% of drinking water monitoring sites or in at least 10% of surface water monitoring sites (rivers and lakes). Then the authorisation has to be adjusted in a way that the limit values are complied with in the future. This strengthens the safe availability of drinking water and contributes to the preservation of biodiversity. All pesticides from urban drainage and agriculture (biocides and plant protection products) are affected by the regulation.