RIWA-Meuse wants to make sure there will be sufficient water of sufficient quality available in the River Meuse for drinking water production, even when climate change means lower flow conditions. To achieve this measures have to be prepared already now such as stricter authorisation of substances, reduction of emissions and flushing of stagnant zones (to replenish surface water). Also the question of water distribution over the river basin, the necessity of creating water storage or retention or the supply from the River Waal need to be addressed.
Keep drought in mind
Climate change will mean the further reduction of the amount of water flowing through the River Maas will reduce during dry periods. During such periods the water quality will deteriorate. The influence of emissions bij waste water treatment plants and the industry on water quality is much greater then: there is less dilution of waste water. As there are already exceedances of standards during very dry periods now we can expect an increase in the future. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and Deltares have calculated the surface water quality in 2050 will be so bad that without extra measures it is not possible to use it for drinking water production.
Attention for the effects for drinking water sources
The drying out of the River Meuse in the most severe climate change scenarios is yet a heavily underestimated problem. This is why we have addressed this with a lot of stress in such platform as the Dutch Delta Programme, Vandaar dat wij dit nadrukkelijk hebben aangekaart, onder meer in het Deltaprogramma, in the AMICE project (Adaptation of the Meuse to the Impacts of Climate Evolutions), in the International Meuse Commission (IMC). Now there is more attention given to the consequences of climate change to the availability and water quality of the River Meuse during drought periods. Therefor in the Dutch Delta Decisions a study has been incorporated to the supply of water from the River Waal towards the River Meuse. In the IMC new studies will give serious attention to the consequences for water quality and the usage functions of the river. RIWA-Meuse participates in the IMC as observing NGO. Also we are actively participating in the follow up of the AMICE studies.