Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine

If, in spite of all preventive measures, an accident occurs or great amounts of hazardous substances flow into the Rhine, the international Warning and Alarm Plan Rhine (WAP) is activated, which above all warns all users downstream. Apart from warnings, which are only issued during vast and serious water pollution events, the WAP is more and more also used as an instrument for exchanging reliable information on water pollution measured by monitoring stations along the rivers Rhine, Neckar, Main and smaller tributaries.

The WAP distinguishes between warnings, information and search reports.

The International Main Alert Centres (IHWZ) issue warnings in cases of water pollution incidents implying substances noxious to water, if the amounts or concentrations concerned may detrimentally impact the water quality of the Rhine or drinking water supply along the Rhine.

Information is issued in order to give the IHWZ objective, factual and reliable information independent of the media. Furthermore, the IHWZ inform all Rhine bordering countries in cases of excesses of guidance values. Additionally, incidents which are liable to raise great public interest concerning water pollution should be passed on as information. As a precautionary measure, information is also passed on to the drinking water works.

Search reports are issued, in order find the polluter of the Rhine in cases not located within the area of responsibility of an IHWZ.

The total number of bulletins does not take into account search bulletins, if these already figured among the information or warning bulletins.

The warnings, information and search reports issued every year are compiled in an annual report. The annual information messages and reports are listed in the table below and/or may be downloaded. 

The international main alarm centres of the warning and alarm plan Rhine use the following substance data bases equally accessible for the public:

Kind of information in the data bankNumber of substancesLanguage
Information on noxious substances for fire brigade, police and environment agencies320.000d
Substance data bank for substances relevant for soil protection / environment1.100d
Substance data bank focusing on protecting work and health20.000d of substances in three classes of water hazard2.000d, e

International Main Alert Centres