Flemish water best in Europe
14 November 2003 , BRUSSELS – Flemish water quality was classed number one in Europe in a new 23-country World Wildlife Fund study.
14 November 2003
BRUSSELS – Flemish water quality was classed number one in Europe in a new 23-country World Wildlife Fund study.
Together with Austria and Scotland, Flanders was found to be the only region in Europe which came into line with the European framework directive on water with legislation of its own.
Political players like the Environment and Nature Council for Flanders and the Social Economic Council are involved in the drafting of the Flemish government's water policy.
Flanders also encourages people to be thrifty with water supplies — citizens building a well for rainwater for example can apply for a grant.
The WWF also praised Flanders for its efforts to prevent flooding — rivers are allowed to overflow naturally, while authorities filter rainwater where it falls rather than wait for it to end up in rivers.
Of concern however was that Flanders is not adequately addressing pollution from agricultural areas. The main cause of the problem is intensive farming.
Flanders risks a conviction by the European court and the loss of European subsidies by not adhering to guidelines.
The WWF says these subsidies are urgently needed to transform agriculture into a more sustainable activity.
Pollution originating from Flemish households is also immense – 40 percent of wastewater from Flemish households is not treated and ends up in rivers.
Italy, Greece and Spain were Europe’s poorest performers in terms of water quality.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Belgian news