Since its foundation in 1970, the IAWR has worked energetically towards the improvement of the water quality of the Rhine and the other waters used to supply drinking water in the Rhine basin area.

Since then, pollution due to industrial effluents (salt, heavy metals, solvents, etc.) as well as organic trace substances has been demonstrably and significantly reduced. However, there are numerous other pollutants from households, industry and agriculture. This means the target has not yet been achieved.

In addition to a range of pesticides and complexing agents, these pollutants include gasoline additives, odourants, flavourants, cleaning substances, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors. These substances should not be present in water that will be used to provide drinking water.

The IAWR is working towards the further reduction and prevention of pollution with these substances.

The IAWR participates as a “Non Governmental Organisation” (NGO) in the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine ICPR.