ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine


Some 60 million people live in the Rhine watershed, on average there are 300 inhabitants per square kilometre. All citizens need drinking water and produce wastewater. Both impact on water bodies.

Wastewater from settlements originates from households, trade and industry. It contains faeces and rests of food stuff, detergents and cleaning substances as well as other products consumed in households. Also, residues of chemicals originating from trade, agriculture and industry are input. Rainwater adds pollution from corroding building material, atmospheric deposits and traffic. Pollutants and nutrients are largely treated in municipal wastewater treatment plants, but micro-pollutions from settlement drainage continue to be problematic.

Assuring the supply with drinking water and wastewater treatment requires constant high investments. The objective is to largely cover costs by income from water rental fees imposed upon households, industry and agriculture. In future, the use of the environment and of resources will be integrated into the calculation of costs for services to a larger extent.

Did you know ...

that 99 per cent of all inhabitants in the Rhine watershed are connected to drinking water supply?

96 per cent are connected to a central wastewater treatment plant, that means, eleven per cent more than in 1985.