ICPDR President on World Water Day: proper wastewater management reduces adverse impacts on waters in the basin

Almost 16 million people in the Danube River Basin are not connected to public sewers and appropriate waste water collection systems. An additional 10 million are discharging their domestic waste water into surface waters, without treatment.

A question of adequate infrastructure
The ICPDR has contributed to make significant progress in this area. Investments in urban wastewater treatment plants with minimum biological treatment technology and enhanced industrial technologies have helped decrease organic pollution significantly. Since 2005, organic emissions via wastewater have decreased by almost 50% as a result of substantial development. Investments in urban wastewater treatment infrastructure have also resulted in a remarkable decrease of nutrient emissions. “Wastewater infrastructure  and wastewater collection and treatment have improved at almost 900 agglomerations. Nevertheless, not all measures have been taken and there is still room for improvement” says ICPDR President Peter Gammeltoft. By 2021, basic infrastructural development facilities – either public sewer systems with adequate wastewater treatment or appropriate decentralised systems – will serve approximately 15 million inhabitants.

Directly contributing to SDG 6 & 14
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.

SDG 6 covers the entire water cycle; SDG 6.3 focusses on safely treated wastewater and good ambient water quality while SDG 6.2 requires safe disposal of all sewage. SDG 6.5 advocates integrated water resources management and transboundary water cooperation.The ICPDR as one of few freshwater River Basin Organisations (RBOs) in the world sees its role as direct contributor to the SDG 14 targets. Indeed, “with its work towards the reduction of nutrient pollution in the Danube, the ICPDR is improving both the ecological status of the Danube River and the environmental status of the Black Sea. SDG 6.5 advocates integrated water resources management and transboundary water cooperation, at the core of ICPDR activities. Thus we at the ICPDR contribute to the implementation of SDG 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” adds ICPDR President Peter Gammeltoft.Thus we contribute to the implementation of SDG 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” adds ICPDR President Peter Gammeltoft.  

The United Nations has called 22 March each year for World Water Day. Every year, it is about taking action to tackle the water crisis and given the global significance of water, it is about giving it the attention it deserves. Every year information on water topics is offered to the interested population or invited to events. World Water Day is celebrated each year to arise awareness on the importance of fresh water around the globe.

We encourage you to be more water-issues aware on World Water Day and beyond!