The contamination of groundwater and rivers with untreated wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial areas can be environmentally harmful in many ways. Microorganisms can spread disease; the decomposition of organic materials can cause oxygen depletion in rivers, lakes, leading to the release of foul-smelling gases. Toxic substances in wastewater can accumulate in living organisms; and the nutrients in wastewater also worsen eutrophication.
For many economic activities, the ICPDR has developed guidelines to align them with environmental needs. These range from agriculture to wastewater treatment. Many of these guidelines led to the development of formal guidance documents, which you can download here.
The Joint Action Programme of the ICPDR outlined the specific steps that were agreed to be taken over the period 2001-2005 to achieve the environmental objectives outlined in the Danube River Protection Convention including many large-scale measures to reduce water pollution, to promote nature conservation, to restore ecosystems, and to safeguard the long-term sustainable management of the environment.
The DABLAS (Danube - Black Sea) Task Force is a successful example of providing a platform between International Funding Institutions, donors and beneficiaries to support cooperation and to leverage investment projects for the protection of water and water-related ecosystems of the Danube and Black Sea.
Article in Danube Watch 02/2006
Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive of the European Union