Shortage of drinking water imminent, Dutch water companies warn

Shortage of drinking water imminent, Dutch water companies warn

A report published by 10 major Dutch water companies has warned that much of the Netherlands faces an imminent shortage of drinking water, largely due to population growth, pollution, and drought. 

Dutch companies worry about water supplies after 2030

According to the report, “the water system is reaching its limit,” and various measures are required in order to ensure the companies are able to continue to supply clean drinking water after 2030. They’re calling on politicians to act with “urgency” on both a national and local scale to tackle the issue.

"That water comes out of the tap seems obvious, but it isn't,” the report reads. “The availability of water for the drinking water supply is under pressure. In addition, the quality of drinking water sources is deteriorating due to pollution of agriculture, industry and households. Future generations risk being saddled with a less secure supply of reliable drinking water.”

All 10 companies write that they must produce more drinking water by 2030 in order to keep up with demand, and argue that the production, purification and distribution of water must be scaled up over the course of the coming years. They’re calling on the government to make it easier to obtain a permit to extract water and to invest in new extraction technologies.

National drought is over, but risk of water shortage remains

The past two decades have seen the Netherlands face a number of water shortages, with this year’s dry weather ultimately resulting in the Dutch government announcing that national water levels were at an all-time low over the summer

While the national threat has been lifted, the increasing frequency of droughts, combined with growing demand as a result of population growth, salinisation of the soil, and pollution is having severe knock-on effects on the country’s supply of drinking water. 

The report warns that the imminent shortage means that, while they are legally obliged to supply drinking water, they “cannot guarantee” the timely supply of clean drinking water to the 900.000 homes that the cabinet wants to build by 2030.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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