05/07/2013, Berlin

BDEW: development of the water industry in Germany in 2012:

Water use in Germany remains at low level – constantly high volume of investment

Water and wastewater industries invest around 6.3 billion Euros / daily per capita water use at 121 litres.

Specific water use in Germany remained at a low level in 2012, amounting, on average, to around 121 litres for each German citizen, as reported by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft - BDEW) on the basis of its own calculations. Compared to 1990, the average water use, based on figures provided by public water providers in the area of households and small consumers, has fallen by 26 litres or almost 20 percent.

Germany for some years. By way of comparison: the constantly self-recycling volume of water available in Germany is 188 billion cubic metres. Only 17 percent of this natural resource is used by the various groups of consumers such as households or businesses.

BDEW has also published figures on investment levels of water suppliers and wastewater treatment providers: in 2012, the investment in public drinking water supply was around 2.3 billion Euros. BDEW predicts that water suppliers will also invest at this level in the coming year: for each of the years 2013 and 2014, the industry association expects investment of around 2.4 billion Euros. The wastewater industry invested around four billion Euros in 2012. Overall, the water industry thus invested around 6.3 billion Euros in 2012. “These extremely high amounts make the water industry a significant motor for employment and environment issues”, stressed Weyand.

The development of an annually decreasing per capita use and the reductions in water delivery to industry have in part resulted in an underutilisation of the infrastructure in Germany today as well as in a situation where there is almost no scope for further reductions. According to Weyand, excessive water saving thus does not contribute to an environmentally conscious and sustainable use of our natural resources. On the contrary, it leads to increased costs and problems in drinking water pipes and sewage channels. In order to avoid the accumulation of deposits and corrosion as well as hygiene problems due to extended lingering of water in the pipes and reduced flow rates, the drinking water pipes and especially the wastewater pipes have to be intensively flushed through. The increased flushing is then counterproductive in relation to the reduced water use. In such cases it is impossible ultimately to save water in reality. Moreover, the flushing of the pipes leads to an additional cost burden on customers, stated the BDEW General Executive Manager in conclusion.


Jan Ulland
Pressesprecher / Press Spokesman