European Water Charter (EU)

European Water Charter, 1968

Already on 6 May 1968 in Strasbourg the Council of Europe announced in the European Water Charter:

“The supply of good water is not inexhaustible, so it is becoming more and more urgent to conserve it, use it sparingly, and increase it wherever possible. Everyone has a duty to conserve water sparingly and with great care for the common good use.”

Principles of the European Water Charter

  1. Without water, there is no life. Water is a precious, indispensable for man.
  2. The stocks of good water are not inexhaustible. Therefore, it is becoming ever more urgent to preserve them, to use them sparingly, and to multiply wherever possible.
  3. Polluting water means harming humans and all other creatures.
  4. The quality of the water must meet the requirements of public health and ensure its intended use.
  5. Used water has to be returned to the waters in a state that does not affect their continued use for public or private use.
  6. For the preservation of the water resources the plant cover plays, in particular the forest, an essential role.
  7. The water resources must be recorded in their inventory.
  8. The necessary orders of the water industry require the supervision by competent authorities.
  9. The protection of water requires increased scientific research, education of professionals and education of the public.
  10. Every human being has the responsibility to use water sparingly and with care for the common good.
  11. Water management planning should be based less on administrative and political boundaries than on the natural watersheds.
  12. The water knows no state borders, so international co-operation is a necessity.

Source: Tümmers, H. J.: Der Rhein – ein europäischer Fluss und seine Geschichte. Beck: München. 1994. S. 399/400
Author: Thomas Uhlendahl
Translation of the text – Steffen A. Pfeiffer