October 11th, 2021

Annual Report 2020 – The Rhine

This RIWA-Rijn annual report gives an overview of the water quality of the Dutch part of the Rhine river basin in 2020


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.