It turns out that when it comes to water quality the Netherlands is not exactly winning any awards. In actuality, it has the poorest water quality of any country in Western Europe. Yay for us!
That’s not even the worst of it, because according to Wageningen World, which is published by Wageningen University, just 1% of Dutch waterways meet standards set by the EU.
It’s not a new discovery. This report in particular was published back in 2022 but it’s yet to improve significantly. Lakes and rivers are kinda gross, even if they’re beautiful but the quality of the drinking water is excellent.
This study looked at 700 designated bodies of water in the country and found that they were of the lowest standards in the European Union. The quality of water is measured by the levels of pollutants found, biodiversity and other variables.
Peter Schipper from Wageningen Environmental Research explains why:
‘With our agriculture, industry, transport and high population density, we naturally add contaminants.’
He also states that:
‘The Netherlands is already the drain of Western Europe: polluted water from abroad flows into the country via streams and rivers.’ Yikes!
There are lots of fantastic reasons to live in the Netherlands but we are falling behind when it comes to water quality. The European Union sets standards and the government is taking steps to improve them but, as the weather hopefully begins to warm, maybe don’t dunk yourself in your local pond.