Water companies on the Rhine want less chemicals in agriculture

The Western European water companies are urging the European Union for a new common agricultural policy without chemical pesticides.

The IAWR drinking water companies in the Rhine basin support the plans for a European Climate Policy (Green Deal) and the sustainability of the farm-to-table strategy (F2F)

About 120 water companies from the six Rhine countries Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands are members of the IAWR, including the Dutch Association of River Water Companies RIWA. In a call to the EU, they point to the persistent (chemical) pollution of European rivers, on which a large part of the drinking water supply depends.

Their call is aimed at the current trilogue negotiations on the common agricultural policy (GAP), according to a company communication. Chairman Roman Wiget says that "to protect our drinking water supplies, the goal is to quickly get bigger agricultural subsidies and strategies for climate protection, biodiversity and zero pollution".

The plea for the protection of drinking water will also be introduced this week in the joint hearing of the Agriculture Committee (AGRI) and the Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament. The committees will hold a public hearing on the Farm to Fork strategy on February 4.

Academics and representatives from professional organizations and civil society will discuss the F2F strategy, its prospects, and the challenges it needs to address with EP members in Brussels.

The Farm to Fork strategy is an important part of the proposed European Green Deal and the new agricultural policy. Its main objectives are to reduce the environmental and climate footprint of the EU food system at all stages (from agricultural production to consumer) and to ensure food security.