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Applying regulation to water reuse: The case of the EU


“Debates around the role of regulation in shaping innovation and progress are long standing1 and there is a growing body of well-researched case studies available, highlighting the costs and benefits of regulation for incentivising innovation. As with many contentious issues, there is credible theory and empirical evidence supporting both sides.
From one perspective, regulation, when poorly designed or deployed, denies resources and time to entrepreneurs by creating red tape and burdensome administrative demands. It can also impose unnecessary financial burdens on companies who are forced to adopt specified processes, technologies, and strategies in order to comply with legal requirements. Where regulation is inadequately aligned with (e.g. lags behind) innovation, it can delay the progress of new technologies.
On the other side of the argument, regulation provides a general framework for finance and funding conditions as well as for intellectual property rights, which set important principles for, and grease the wheels of innovation. Regulation also imparts clarity, stability and certainty on the operating environment experienced by entrepreneurs and investors. Standards deliver a design and performance benchmark for producers and confidence for the consumer, often helping to boost trust in an unfamiliar product or service. Perhaps most importantly, regulation and standards underpin legal obligations and thereby bound liability for all parties.”

(Citaat: Jeffrey, P., Fawell, J., Le Corre,K., Frijns, J.A.G. – Applying regulation to water reuse: The case of the EU – (2017)19 november)

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