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Water

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.

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

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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

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EU Commission proposes regulation for the reuse of water

irrigation on a field

The reuse of treated waste water can help to reduce water shortages. Reused water can contain pathogens and harmful substances, however. On 28 May 2018, the EU Commission proposed a regulation, on minimum requirements concerning the reuse of water. It aims to protect health and the environment. The UBA considers there to be a need for improvement. read more

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The Umweltbundesamt

For our environment