ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

Surface waters

The Rhine, its tributaries and lakes in the watershed are called surface waters. Good water quality is one of the main goals of the ICPR programme "Rhine 2040" and the EC Water Framework Directive.

Human uses such as water intake, input of wastewater or navigation are stresses of different intensity on the surface waters. Therefore, these are regularly monitored within international and national monitoring programmes, in order to be able to assess the impact of the stress from uses. The results and an assessment of the water quality are summarized and published by the ICPR.

Apart from groundwater, surface waters are a decisive source of water supply for agriculture and industry. At the same time, lakes, brooks and rivers as well as mouths of rivers and coastal waters are habitats for a species-rich flora and fauna.

According to the European Water Framework Directive all surface water bodies are to achieve a “good ecological” and a “good chemical” state.

Did you know ...

that an interdiction exists concerning the deterioration of surface waters in the Rhine watershed?

The Water Framework Directive stipulates that their quality must in no case deteriorate.