The government’s drinking water strategy is focused on improving quality and favouring innovative technology that helps to reduce water consumption.
Agricultural contamination has forced authorities to stop using water collected from natural aquifers and springs that generate the equivalent of 12% of the drinking water normally drawn from such sources.
According to environment minister, the “catchments” gathering water from bore holes and springs would have generated up to 5.5 million cubic metres of water in 2018.
She added that certain springs generating a low volume of water are no longer used for drinking water because they would require treatment before use.
In 2018, some 270 springs and 69 bore holes generated 44.7m cubic metres of drinking water in Luxembourg.
The government’s stance on pollution of underground water sources focuses on preventing contamination rather than treatment, Dieschbourg wrote.
Measures include awareness-raising and, since 2014, the creation of protection zones around drinking water catchment areas. Dieschbourg said it was too soon to say whether the measures had had a beneficial impact on the quality of underground aquifers because underground water sources can remain there for up to 15 years. “These natural conditions explain why no significant improvements have been observed since the creation of the first protection zones just five years ago,” the minister wrote.
To ensure the long-term supply of clean drinking water in Luxembourg, Dieschbourg said the government’s strategy focused on general improvement in the quality of the water and favouring innovative technology that helps to reduce water consumption.
Responding to a parliamentary question back in May 2019, Dieschbourg wrote that groundwater levels were 25% below the average of the last 40 years because of dry winters. She said the government had commissioned a feasibility study "examining a combination of supplementary underground resources and treating water from the Moselle.” She added that depending on the evolution of water-use reduction measures and the growth of the population, “new resources should be operational for 2035, notably to cover peak consumption.”