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Water is the basis for the entire biosphere. Ponds, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and oceans are the habitat for myriad plants and animals and are a key component of the ecosystem. Groundwater is at once our main source of drinking water and a habitat. We use water for our food, daily hygiene, and recreational activities. Water also plays a key economic role as an energy source, transportation medium and raw material. Efficient protection and conservation of water resources are crucially important for biodiversity and sustainable use.

UBA names water body type of the year 2020

Ein kleiner Bachabschnitt fließt durch ein Waldstück

The German Environment Agency (UBA) declared the coarse substrate-dominated, calcareous small highland river as the water body type of 2020 on the occasion of World Water Day on 22 March 2020. Streams of this type occur primarily in the limestone regions of the central highlands , for example in the Swabian Alb and Frankish Alb. Only eight percent achieve 'good' ecological status. read more


Sewage sludge disposal in Germany

Sewage sludge treatment, disposal and phosphorus recovery must be adapted to new statutory requirements

Heavy metals, residues of pharmaceutical drugs and plastic: just a few of the many pollutants contained in sewage sludge. Until recently most of the sludges were used as agricultural fertiliser. Nowadays more than half of it is used and combusted for energy purposes. A new UBA brochure has information on disposal practices and on the current status in sludge treatment and recycling. read more


Can product design prevent marine litter?

crab in a plastic bottle on the beach

Designers can also contribute to solving the problem of marine litter – with the right choice of materials when designing products, for instance. This was the topic of a workshop that was initiated by the UBA in June 2018 with approximately 30 participants from the Baltic Sea Region. The results and specific recommendations for action have now been published. read more


The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment