RIWA-Rhine in podcast Deutschlandfunk on drinking water

RIWA-Rhine recently collaborated on a six-part podcast series by Deutschlandfunk on drinking water. In the episode on pollution of the Rhine with PFAS in particular, director Gerard Stroomberg speaks at length. On the importance of clean Rhine water for the drinking water supply in the Netherlands and the need for laws and regulations and European cooperation to achieve that goal.

Deutschlandfunk is a public radio station in Germany that broadcasts nationally via FM, DAB and internet. It is known for its high-quality journalism and in-depth reporting.

Listen to the episode on the Rhine here

View the overview of all episodes here

Research: better water quality protection needed

The Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) of the Netherlands has published a signal report stating that better protection of water quality is needed. It argues that licensing, monitoring and enforcement have too little grip on emissions of problem substances, failing to improve water quality sufficiently.

The findings of this report do not surprise us, RIWA-Rhine already showed in September last year that the load of the Rhine is a factor 4-5 above the RIVM guideline value. Recently, RIVM found that the pollution of the Rhine mostly takes place upstream of Lobith. This applies in general to very many pollutants but also to PFAS in particular. RIWA-Rhine is actively seeking out and addressing dischargers and the authorities involved. It strikes us that in terms of licensing, supervision and enforcement, there is still much room for improvement with our eastern neighbours. We recently reiterated this in the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine. RIWA-Rhine applauds the initiative of the Dutch government to strive for a general European PFAS ban, but until that happens, current discharge practice in Germany and particularly in North Rhine-Westphalia deserves our special attention.