Topic B- Water as a lacking resource
Public water supply and sanitation in Germany is universal and of goodquality. Some salient features of the sector compared to other developed countries are its very low per capita water use, the high share of advanced wastewater treatment and very low distributionlosses. Responsibility for water supply and sanitation provision lies with municipalities, which are regulated by the states. Professional associations and utility associations play an important rolein the sector. As in other EU countries, most of the standards applicable to the sector are set in Brussels (see EU water policy). Recent developments include a trend to create commercial publicutilities under private law and an effort to modernize the sector, including through more systematic benchmarking.
Water is not scarce in Germany, except for occasional localized droughts. Publicwater utilities abstract only 3 percent of total renewable water resources in Germany, or 5.4 billion cubic meters out of 182 billion cubic meters annually. Bank filtration plant in Mainz, Germany.Extraction well on small hill visible in foreground. The Rhine is several dozen meters to the right outside of the picture.
The sources of public water supply are as follows:
* 65% fromgroundwater
* 9% from springs
* 5% from bank filtration, i.e. from wells close to rivers and lakes, drawing essentially surface water
* 21% directly from surface water
Water supply inGermany is continuous, at good pressure, and drinking water quality is excellent, as evidenced by the universal compliance with the EU drinking water directive. Wastewater is universal. 94 percentof municipal wastewater is treated according to the highest EU standards including nutrient elimination, a much higher percentage than in France (36 percent) or in England and Wales (39 percent).