Above all, the targets for Rhine protection fixed in „Rhine 2020“ concentrate on the following fields of action:
- Ecosystem improvement
- Flood prevention and flood protection
- Protection of water quality
- Groundwater protection
With a view to ecosystem improvement,
- the former network of habitats typical for the Rhine (habitat patch connectivity) and the ecological continuity of the Rhine from Lake Constance to the North Sea and the patency of tributaries figuring in the programme on migratory fish are to be restored.
With a view to flood prevention and flood protection
- the risk of flood damage in the lowlands of the Rhine is to be reduced by 25 % (reference year 1995) by 2020.
- extreme flood peaks downstream the impounded part of the Upper Rhine (downstream of Baden-Baden) are to be reduced by up to 70 cm (reference year 1995).
Water quality is to be such that
- drinking water production will be possible using simple, nature-near treatment procedures
- Water quality constituents must neither alone nor in interaction have negative impact on the biocoenosis of plants, animals and micro-organisms,
- fish in the Rhine, mussels and crustaceans are apt for human consumption without any restriction whatsoever,
- bathing in the Rhine is possible at suitable locations and
- it must be possible to dispose of dredged material without causing any harm.
Within groundwater protection
- a good water quality must be restored and
- a balance of groundwater abstraction and groundwater recharge must be granted.