Covering The Netherlands with collective drinking water supply systems is the outcome of a long history. On the one hand this was driven by technical inventions like the hand pump and the process of industrialisation.
|Drinking Dutch water
|Year of Publication
|Boom, S, de Vreede, E
|10 p. : 3 fig.
|Delft, The Netherlands
|drinking water, netherlands, sdipol, ueik, water authorities, water management, water supply
Covering The Netherlands with collective drinking water supply systems is the outcome of a long history. On the one hand this was driven by technical inventions like the hand pump and the process of industrialisation. On the other it was driven by recurrent outbreaks of water-related diseases in the rapidly expanding cities. Amsterdam was the first city to get tap water through house connections in 1854. In the beginning of the 20th century most urban centres were covered, while it took till the 1970's before safe, piped drinking water had also become available in the most remote areas of the Netherlands. Water supply companies produce drinking water out of both ground and surface water and distribute it through piped systems. The customers fully recover the costs of this, next to the capital and depreciation costs of the systems. The tariffs are controlled by the government which is the main shareholder of water supply companies that work as private companies under a Public Limited Company (PLC) structure. Full privatisation however, is not considered an option, as water is seen as a basic service, and profit making interests might come to override the quality and sustainability of our water resources. Already we are facing problems like over-extraction of the ground water and pollution of surface water. This calls for an active integrated approach on our water management. This will be mainly the responsibility of (local) government and water boards. The water supply companies on their turn contribute directly to environmental and natural resource management by using green energy, reallocating extraction points and actively co-operating in the management of flora and fauna. However, whereas several solutions are available, this is still not enough for the future and new solutions are still to be sought. (abstract by authors)