Wageningen World: Bottom of the class for water quality

December 20, 2022

The Netherlands has the worst water quality of all EU member states: only one per cent of our waters are assessed as ‘good’. So we are unlikely to fulfil the European Water Framework Directive in time. ‘In this watery country, we’re going to have to get firmer with farmers, the general public and industry alike.

One in five sewage treatment plants does not meet standards

Water pollution was reduced in the Netherlands from the 1980s. Nowadays, the Netherlands has five years left to achieve 'good status' in all its waters. A challenge, especially due to a complex European directive and insufficient measurement methods to test compliance.

Researchers do see glimmers of hope. Peter Schippers, researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research: 'Awareness of water issues isn’t great in the Netherlands. On a positive note, though, water quality is clearly higher on the political agenda now'.

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