29 oktober 2019
Quality Dutch drinking water sources under increasing pressure
Time is running out for the Dutch sources of drinking water. Researchers of KWR Watercycle Research Institute have made an overview of the current quality of the drinking water sources. This study provides a worrying picture. Vewin emphasises that more measures are absolutely necessary in order to improve the quality of the sources. Vewin introduced this report at the Drinking Water Committee of EurEau in Bucharest.
The purpose of the report is twofold. First, to bring together the most important information about the quality of sources of drinking water and to present it coherently. It discusses existing bottlenecks, as well as projected developments. As such, the report offers an extensive picture of the facts of the current condition of the sources of drinking water in terms of water quality. Second, to stress that in the upcoming river basin management plans (2021-2027) of the Water Framework Directive priority should be given to the quality of drinking water sources.
Condition of groundwater as a source of drinking water
Measuring data shows that the quality of groundwater as a source of drinking water is mainly affected by nitrates, pesticides, old soil contaminants (caused by activities such as dry cleaners, petrol stations and industry) and salinisation. There are also indications that traces of industrial substances, (veterinary) pharmaceuticals and emerging substances occur in groundwater on an increasingly larger scale. Due to the continuing and increasing load of groundwater, it is contaminated at increasingly greater depths and with increasingly more substances.
Condition of surface water as a source of drinking water
The report states that the quality of surface water as a source of drinking water production is mainly affected by pesticides, salinisation, pharmaceutical residues and industrial substances. Besides these themes, it becomes increasingly clear that microplastics, nanomaterials and antibiotics resistance may pose a threat to the quality of surface water as a source of drinking water.
Climate change will probably have a negative impact on the quality, for example due to salinisation and reduced dilution of contaminants during low river discharge.
Read The quality of sources of drinking water in the Netherlands