Don’t waste a single drop

Germany is the European champion when it comes to saving water and is supporting projects around the world that are designed to protect this vital resource.

A precious resource: publicly accessible drinking water
A precious resource: publicly accessible drinking water dpa

Germany. A cycle that makes good sense: over 96 percent of waste water from private households and public institutions in Germany is channelled to sewage treatment plants for purification. No other European country treats as much waste water for reuse. Waste water use is the focus of World Water Week, which is taking place in Stockholm from 27 August to 1 September.

What is World Water Week?

The key objective of World Water Week is to convey the importance of “good water sense”, as clean water is essential for our survival. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) has been staging “World Water Week” since 1991. It is a unique forum for promoting exchange between science, business, politics and civil society.

Which themes is Germany representing?

Numerous institutions and actors from Germany will be taking part in Stockholm: such as the Federal Foreign Office, which is supporting work on a Compendium of Sanitation Technologies designed for humanitarian emergencies, and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), which will be presenting a simulation of how energy could be generated from waste water.

Why is waste water in the spotlight?

Untreated waste water contaminates drinking water and thus poses a risk to health. Among others, representatives of the Jordanian Ministry of Education, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the German Toilet Organization will be discussing how important the interplay of water, sanitation and hygiene (or WASH for short) is. An NGO that is a member of the German WASH network, the German Toilet Organization is working to ensure that as many people as possible in the world have access to clean toilets and sustainable waste water management systems.

What other issues are on the agenda?

Another global challenge is the pollution of waterways by plastic waste. During World Water Week, the KfW Development Bank will take part in a discussion of this issue. It initiated the Blue Action Fund which supports NGOs in their marine conservation efforts and promotes the establishment of new environmental protection areas, sustainable fishing and eco-friendly tourism. The idea is for roughly a dozen projects with a volume of at least 20 million euros to be funded by 2019.

World Water Week, 27 August to 1 September 2017 in Stockholm

Quick facts
96
percent

of the waste water from private homes and public institutions in Germany is purified in water treatment plants.

10,000
water treatment plants

are to be found in Germany.

99
percent

of the population is connected to the public water supply system.

123
litres of drinking water

are consumed daily by every German in 2017. That is 48 litres less than in 1963.

3,900
litres per inhabitant per day

That is Germany’s virtual “water footprint” if the water consumption for all products is included, too.

70
percent

of the drinking water in Germany comes from groundwater or springs.

19
German NGOs

are members of the WASH network that campaigns worldwide for access to water and sanitary facilities.