We are fortunate to live in a country where clean drinking water is readily available and flows out of the tap. Since this is legally guaranteed by the Drinking Water Ordinance, we rarely question this reliable part of our daily lives.
But where does our drinking water actually come from? Drinking water is obtained either from dams, rivers or from groundwater. In all cases, however, special water treatment chemicals – e.g., aluminum or iron salts, which Feralco also manufactures – are absolutely necessary. This is the only way that the water can be used as drinking water that is harmless to human health in accordance with the legal regulations. Without these chemicals, our waterworks would not be able to produce the vital drinking water in sufficient quantity and quality. It is even more astonishing that the manufacturers of these chemicals have not yet been classified as systemically important.
The water associations for drinking water production have also been pointing out for a long time that the drinking water supply cannot be guaranteed without sufficient amounts of flocculants. Neither the government nor the Federal Network Agency has classified this important economic sector to produce water chemicals as critical infrastructure or systemically important.
The large water associations in Germany, which are responsible for the drinking water treatment of German citizens, are now as well complaining about this. As early as April this year, the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia was informed that the drinking water supply could not be maintained without sufficient quantities of flocculants. In this context, the ministry was asked to take all necessary steps to ensure the supply of flocculants even if there were a shortage of gas capacities due to the Ukraine war.
Unfortunately, there has been no corresponding reaction from the government authority so far, which raises the question of how important it actually is to ensure the drinking water supply in Germany.