The strategy used to achieve the objective has 3 key elements or focal points.
Focal point: Accumulate and disseminate knowledge
- Managing and maintaining a water quality monitoring network to identify (undesired) changes in quality, testing water against the IAWR target values and underpinning goals and requirements. The necessary data is provided by companies, governments and, to a limited extent, our own additional research.
- Research (experimental or via desktop studies) into substances and/or organisms that are relevant to member companies (characteristics, presence, amounts, dischargers, toxicity…). This also encompasses quantity research (e.g. into the consequences of climate change and hydrologic interventions in water management).
- In separate discussions between RIWA, KWR, RIVM and RWS, monitoring efforts and research are co-ordinated or combined. Via the IAWR, the plans are discussed in Germany and research is combined and co-ordinated.
Focal point: Information Provision
- The activities of RIWA-Rhine and the IAWR are based on knowledge of the rivers, the substances and the dischargers. For the Department of Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat) and the commissions (particularly the ICBR), RIWA-Rhine and the IAWR serve as the representative of water supply companies and the contact point for questions concerning water quality in the Rhine basin.
- The member companies also make frequent use of the knowledge and information present within the RIWA-Rhine organisation.
- Undesirable quality influences that are the result of a particular source or diffuse emissions are presented to the relevant industries or their associations and to agricultural organisations in the Rhine basin.
- Information on research findings and water quality data are also provided to a range of institutions (universities, research institutes and governments) on request.
Focal point: Lobby
Regular structures are set up for consultation with governments at two levels:
- National government consultation (together with RIWA-Meuse and Vewin) with representatives of Ministry of Economic Affairs (I&M), of the Ministry of Economic affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) and the National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Hygiene (RIVM).
- RIWA/RWS-Rhine, with RWS and regional boards in the Netherlands’ Rhine basin.
As an NGO, the IAWR has access to the Plenary Meeting of the ICBR and the Coordinating Committee of the Water Framework Directive, and is a member of several workgroups. This workgroup representation is handled by RIWA-Rhine on the behalf of the IAWR. RIWA-Rhine also maintains very good contacts with the Dutch delegations and the ICBR Secretariat.