2022-2025 Dialogue on Micropollutants

A stakeholder dialogue on voluntary and manufacturer-responsible measures for mitigating micropollutants in water bodies is currently underway at the German Centre for Micropollutants as part of a research project.

Together with the contractors Fraunhofer ISI (project management, content-related technical support of the process) and IKU GmbH (process design and moderation), the Centre for Micropollutants has started the continuation of collaboration with the stakeholders from the Stakeholder Dialogue (2015-2022) and further development of the instrument of the Round Tables. News will be published here.


After a two-year National Water Dialogue of the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV) and the German Environment Agency, the BMUV presented the draft of a National Water Strategy in 2021. It has been adopted in 2023. This states that the pollution of water bodies by a variety of substances is increasing, endangering their ecological condition, and that this is making the extraction and provision of drinking water increasingly complex and expensive. 

Against this background and current developments at the EU level (zero pollutant target) and at the level of the Länder, it is important to limit the risks from pollutant inputs. With its dialogue-centred approach, the federal government’s Trace Substance Strategy supports and complements achieving the objectives of the national water strategy. In addition to the basic objective of this strategy to prevent or reduce the input of relevant micropollutants into the aquatic environment, the German Centre for Micropollutants will research the sources and extent of water pollution from micropollutants and identify ways to reduce it. It will recommend measures and provide information on risks.

Project Goals

The goal of the current project is to further develop and redevelop working methods for continuing the Stakeholder Dialogue by involving all affected (⁠stakeholders⁠). For example, stakeholders may be environmental associations, manufacturers, formulators, professional groups, wastewater and water associations or the Federal Environment Agency. An open dialogue process is to be organised and continued with relevant stakeholder groups to discuss the core elements of the previous strategy.

The project focuses on the following:

  1. Discussion and derivation of objectives from the perspective of water protection with regard to new objectives after the experiences from the previous Stakeholder Dialogue (2015-2022)
  2. Derivation of quantifiable indicators
  3. Derivation of suitable, target-oriented risk mitigation measures
  4. Implementation options for the measures in the existing legal framework (requirements, barriers)
  5. Establishment of a “construction kit” for environment-related dialogue communication (discourses, conflict avoidance and resolution, mediation)

Here, the Round Table instrument forms a central pillar of voluntary and manufacturer mitigation measures. The goal is therefore to implement solutions and measures to reduce micropollutants more efficiently.

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 micropollutants  water quality