Annual Report 2021 – The Rhine

In chapter 1 of this annual report the measured concentrations of parameters at Lobith, Nieuwegein, Nieuwersluis and Andijk are reported and compared with the target values of the European River Memorandum (ERM). We also give an update on the development of the required level of purification (WFD art. 7.3) of the Rhine water at Lobith since the introduction of the WFD in 2000.


The Conference of Rhine Ministers of 13 February 2020 set the target to reduce the emissions of micro-pollutants from urban wastewater, agriculture and industry by at least 30% by 2040 compared to 2016-2018. Chapter 2 assesses the realisation of the 30% reduction target based on the load of substances at Lobith. It gives a first impression of which substances seem to achieve the reduction target and for which substances additional effort should be made.


On 27 July 2021 a tragic accident occurred at a CURRENTA waste disposal centre in Leverkusen-Bürrig. The fire that followed released a large quantity of extinguishing water which could not be completely collected and processed. Chapter 3 deals with the consequences of this accident for the drinking water supply in the Dutch part of the Rhine catchment.


This year we pay extra attention to new substances in our RIWA-Rijn measuring programme at Lobith, the Substances from Multiple Sources, and to a new stricter standard for bromate in surface water recently established by the RIVM. Furthermore, we are looking again at the need to reduce emissions from X-ray contrast media and the potential for action by healthcare professionals in the clinic.


Our annual report is available in Dutch and in German.


RIWA-2022-NL-Jaarrapport 2021 De Rijn

Annual Report 2020 – The Rhine

In chapters 1 and 2 of this annual report, the parameters and their concentrations measured at Lobith, Nieuwegein, Nieuwersluis and Andijk are reported and compared to the target values in the European River Memorandum (ERM). During this year too, breaches of the target values took place. Further, we give an update on the development of the required level of purification (Water Framework Directive Art. 7.3) of the Rhine water at Lobith from the enactment of the WFD in 2000.


In chapter 3, in collaboration with Vewin, we present a framework for the protection of the drinking water sources and the realisation of the WFD objectives for PMT and vPvM micropollutants by combining existing ideas and legislation. Through complete and coherent recording of the emission of contaminating substances (E-PRTR) and more transparency about industrial emissions, the present quality problems of drinking water sources will reduce.


RIWA was founded on 15 June 1951 with the aim ‘to jointly study the problem of the pollution of the Rhine, in order, as one, to provide the Government with advice in its further steps to combat this wrong as far as possible.’ On the occasion of our 70th anniversary, in chapter 4, we look back at the first years of the Rhine Commission of Water Supply Companies (now RIWA), based on archive research by Utrecht University.


The picture that emerges from this investigation is that of an organisation that was one of the first to disseminate viewpoints about water quality that later became generally accepted in Europe, and that have remained the core of RIWA’s work.