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Tuesday, June 28

Danube River's Pollution Threatens the Potable Water of Millions

Updated on: 17.04.2008, 13:32

Published on: 17.04.2008, 13:28


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The Danube in Johan Strauss' classic waltz is blue. But in the real world in 21st century it is a muddy navigation canal, absorbing waste waters from the cities, pesticides and chemicals from the agricultural lands, industrial wastes from the plants and fuel from the vessels.

The main Danube organizations and the European union are increasingly concerned for the future of the EU longest river, which springs from Germany and flows along 10 countries before flowing into the Black sea.

Officials in Budapest called for all the countries along the Danube to stop the irreversible, according to them, damages by undertaking urgent measures against pollution.

The political coordinator of the Energy and transport directorate at the European Commission Cezare Bernabei claimed for the Voice of America that without radical actions for improvement of the condition of the environment around the Danube, the reserves of potable water for nearly 80 million people would be threatened. For sure all this should be controlled. We cannot continue thinking that water is something given, commented Bernabei. Everywhere the concern about water resources is growing, especially in this zone which is densely inhabited.

Another unsolved problem is the pollution from NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999, reckons Milovan Bojinovic, chairman of the Danube commission with headquarters in Budapest, which works for the free navigation on the river. He claims that chemicals from the bombed plants still pollute the Danube. Part of the pollution is a result of the bombings of these factories without taking into consideration the consequences for the countries along the Danube after Serbia Bulgaria and Romania as well as for the Black sea, says Bojinovic. The ever growing navigation on the river also helps the pollution.

According to EU data, now after most of the countries the Danube river crosses are members of the EU, the water transport might double in the next 10 years. The experts are unanimous that the use of modern technologies in navigation and the restriction of the industrial pollution will help the recovery of the Danube river eco-system. But they warn that these efforts will be hurdled by the changes in the water flow aiming at prevention from floods or production of energy.

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