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Antenne Drinking water 2012 : Information and developments

Antenne drinkwater 2012 : Informatie en ontwikkelingen

Synopsis

Every year the RIVM makes an inventory of developments that are relevant for Dutch policymakers with regard to drinking water policy and enforcement. The developments are categorized into four themes: microbiology, micropollutants, sources for drinking water and drinking water infrastructure. For each theme focus areas are mentioned that are relevant for the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (I&M) with respect to the development of drinking water policy and enforcement. This report also presents an overview of RIVM reports that were published in 2011-2012 and are relevant to drinking water policy.

Focus areas for drinking water policy
One of the focus areas within the theme Microbiology is to gain insight into possible sources for legionella infections. Examples are drinking water installations en cooling towers, but also puddles with rainwater, wastewater treatment plants and liquid for windshield wipers. More information on the contribution of these different sources can help focus regulation on legionella prevention.

The use of plant protection products, biocides and veterinary pharmaceuticals in agriculture and urban areas can contaminate drinking water sources, which possibly results in extra costs for drinking water treatment. Therefore, within the theme micropollutants, one of the focus areas is international consistency on restricted use of these substances. This also applies to the implementation of new authorization techniques for these substances.

One of the focus areas within the theme drinking water sources are strategies for the provision of freshwater in the future. Due to climate change the quality of surfacewater in the future may deteriorate to such an extent by 2050 that, without adaptation measures, it will be unsuitable for drinking water production. During periods of drought concentrations of pollutants in surface water can increase to such a level that water quality standards are exceeded.

Within the theme drinking water infrastructure the investments in the national drinking water network lag behind with respect to the level that should be accomplished. The government can increase attention for this topic by incorporating replacement investments in the drinking water benchmark. This way information can be provided to what extent drinking water companies are prepared for the future.
 

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