Water and Health

8–9 Dec 2009, Koblenz • Workshop organized by the German and Netherlands National Committees IHP-HWRP.
As water is our number one aliment, the quality of drinking water directly influences public health and plays a major economic role both as a tradable good and a cost factor in our healthcare system.

Programme_smallThe workshop focuses on key topics of the current phase (VII) of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Water and Life Support Systems, and the work under the UNECE/WHO–Europe Protocol on Water and Health. Water quality issues in Europe are not as eye-catching as in many other parts of the world, yet there is a lot of concern about emergingpollutants, water and health in the context of societal and environment change. Deterioration of water quality, overexploitation of freshwater resources, hydrological hazards, climate change and adverse effects of landscape degradation and sectoral management all pose risks to human health, and potentially impact ecosystem values and services.

Human health and well-being are strongly dependent on safe and readily available water. Their promotion at national, transboundary and international levels is the objective of the UNECE/WHO-Europe Protocol on Water and Health. The EU Water Framework Directive states in its preamble that “Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such”. The implementation of the Directive will help to prevent further pollution of waters.

The Workshop presented current water and health issues in Europe, and identified policy needs based on scientific analysis of the status quo.


acrobat_icon Programme



acrobat_icon Protocol on Water and Health and IWRM
     – Tomasz Juszczak (UNECE, Geneva)

acrobat_icon The importance of water and health in the VIIth phase of IHP of UNESCO
     – Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa (UNESCO, Paris)

acrobat_icon Water and infectious diseases in Europe: what do we know?
     – Gertjan Medema (KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands)

acrobat_icon The multi-barrier principle: basis for a safe and sustainable drinking water supply
     – Claudia Castell-Exner (DVGW, Bonn, Germany)

acrobat_icon Implementation of water security programmes in rural settlements in the Republic of Moldova
     – Ion Salaru (Ministry of Health, Chisinau, Moldova)

acrobat_icon Water borne diseases, risks and adaption needs in Sweden
     – Thor Axel Stenström (Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden)

acrobat_icon Trace metals and pharmaceuticals in transboundary waters, and its monitoring, toxicity and regulation in Ukraine
     – Yuliya Vystavna (National Academy of Municipal Economy, Kharkiv, Ukraine)

acrobat_icon Model tools for prediction of probability of infections: scenarios for European water works
     – Thor Axel Stenström (Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm, Sweden)

acrobat_icon Meeting the MDGs and acess to safe water: the case of Tajikistan
     – Oliver Schmoll (UBA, Bad Elster, Germany)

acrobat_icon Experience with water safety plans: a benefit for German suppliers?
     – Wolf Merkel (IWW Water Centre, Mülheim and der Ruhr, Germany)

acrobat_icon The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment due to human use: present knowledge and future challenges
     – Klaus Kümmerer (University Freiburg, Germany)

acrobat_icon Water borne infections in Estonia
     – Küllike Birk (Health protection Inspectorate, Tallinn, Estonia)

acrobat_icon The role of European water legislation: current situation and future challenges
     – Rob Collins (Water Group, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen, Denmark)