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.



Annual report 2019 – The Rhine

The first chapter describes the parameters and their concentrations measured in 2019 at Lobith, Nieuwegein, Nieuwersluis and Andijk. The concentrations have been compared with the target values in the European River Memorandum (ERM) and again this year the target values have been exceeded.


In the second chapter of this report we look back on recent developments and our experiences on the subject of permits. The drinking water function of the river deserves good protection against discharges of hazardous substances from industry. That is why the Netherlands is working hard on optimising an important instrument for this purpose: the discharge permit. Without a discharge permit, substances may not be discharged, yet we have repeatedly been startled by new substances in high concentrations. In the Netherlands, we have noticed that the permit granting practice needed to be improved, and important steps have been taken to this end in 2019. In addition, we have discharge permits across borders. We have made a proposal as to how discharge permits can be made better and more transparent internationally.


This report is available in Dutch and in German.


RIWA-2020-NL-Jaarrapport 2019 De Rijn