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Belgium

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Area: 5888268 km2
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Quick Info

2.65 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
102 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 5
Total Projects: 10
Priority SDGs: Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Integrated Water Resource Management (SDG 6.5)
Protect and Restore Ecosystems (SDG 6.6)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Sustainable Agriculture (SDG 2.4)
Water-Related Disaster Management (SDG 11.5)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Climate Resilience and Adaptation (SDG 13.1)
Priority Regions: Meuse
Priority Industries: Other
Organization Types:
60%
Business
20%
Coalition / Consortium
20%
NGO / Civil Society
Profile Completion: 100%

Water Challenges

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Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Belgium’s water resources are distributed among five river basins, the two main ones being the Maas river (known in French as the Meuse) and the Scheldt (known in French as the Escaut); both have their source in France and flow into the sea in the Netherlands. The major aquifers are located in Wallonia. Belgium does not face water stress, despite its high density of population. Internal water availability is around 12,000 million m³/year (average 1990- 2004), or 1,168 m³/capita/year. The yield of groundwater is around 900 million m³, exploited at a rate of 75 per cent. This picture hides strong regional disparities, with the north distinct from the south. Wallonia satisfies 55 per cent of the country’s drinking water, but includes only 37 per cent of the population. Flanders and Brussels are dependent on drinking water from Wallonia, at levels of 40 and 98 per cent respectively. The picture is further complicated by the strong dependence of the Netherlands on the Maas for its drinking water.

1.1.2.WATER USE Water Withdrawals in Belgium are 9.03 km3/yr. Distribution of water use by sector is: -agricultural use: 4 per cent; -domestic use: 11 per cent; -industrial use: 85 per cent.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH The environment in Belgium is exposed to intense pressures from human activities such as urbanization, a dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding, and crop cultivation. Air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighbouring countries. Uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) have previously slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges. The high population density, together with a very high degree of urbanization and industrialization, has had effects on the overall environmental quality. In the 1996 Habitat report it was stated that environmental degradation of rivers, watercourses and coastal areas of soil and subsoil (including aquifers), air, and green and forest areas were all serious problems in Belgium, as was waste. The oxygen condition of surface waters (O2, COD) is improving and nutrient concentrations (except for NO3-N) are falling. Several industrial sectors have made a major effort to reduce their wastewater loads, and the expansion of wastewater treatment plants has led to the reduction of wastewater loading by households. However, many measuring points do not yet satisfy basic quality standards and only about ten measuring points have a good physicochemical condition concerning all parameters. Industrial companies should be further disconnected from the sewage network and discharge permits should be adjusted in accordance with ecological standards. The additional connection of households to wastewater treatment plants should also further decrease wastewater loads. Nitrate concentrations remain a problem, for which agriculture, in particular, will have to find a solution. The proportion of measuring points with extremely bad to very bad biological quality (BBI) is falling sharply and the proportion of measuring points with good to very good BBI is increasing (30 per cent in 2002). However, according to the VLAREM standards, all measuring points must have a BBI of at least 7. In addition, the ‘standstill principle’ (no deterioration of the present situation) is often not applicable. There is still much to be done to achieve a good ecological situation in all watercourses by 2015 (European Water Framework Directive). Not only must the physico-chemical quality of the water be improved, but the quality of the sediment and the natural morphology of the watercourses must also be restored.

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Organizations in Belgium


Created in 2005, AquaFed is the International Federation of Private Water Operators. AquaFed represents more than 400 private operator providing water and sanitation services in more than 40 countries worldwide. According to GWI (2013), over 1 Billion people count on ... Learn More

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the largest hotel and hospitality companies and includes 1,440 hotels in operation and under development with more than 230,000 rooms and locations in 115 countries and territories. Learn More

Somos una organización social, ONGs, Fundación Privada, especializada en realización, diseño, planificación, ejecución, puesta en marcha y control de Proyectos Multivariable, Proyectos de Producción e Inversión social en las áreas de agro-desarrollos y comercialización de alimentos, trabajando esforzadamente para la ... Learn More

The global food chain organisation for sustainable agriculture. Learn More

The Water Resilience Coalition, founded in 2020, is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world's freshwater resources ... Learn More

Projects in Belgium


THE CENTRAL CONCERN OF THE PRACTICE IS DESIGN EXCELLENCE. EVERY PROJECT IS BASED ON SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND EXPLORE APPLICATIONS OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES TOGETHER WITH ANCIENT TRADITIONS TO FIND BETTER SOLUTIONS TO CONTEMPORARY NEEDS.Project ResultsSignificant emergency water and sanitation work was ... Learn More

The ALFA project aims at protecting citizens in Northwest Europe against the effects of flooding due to climate change. All partners face the same problems and challenges due to climate change: creating new floodplains, their effects for inhabitants, and their ... Learn More

Coca-Cola Enterprise's manufacturing facility in Chaudfontaine, Belgium, which solely produces Chaudfontaine spring water, is working with the Walloon Regional Authority and the University of Liege to protect the local natural hot spring from pollution. The project included a survey of ... Learn More

CONNECTING is a project that will establish the EU as a global leader for climate resilience, collaborative processes, and innovation for Nature Based Solutions by drawing on the experiences from three selected front-running cities in this project: Genk (Belgium), Glasgow ... Learn More

This project implements water stewardship practices, particularly water savings (by reducing demand) and nature-based solutions that will increase the water supply to the basin. Learn More

Forests provide much of the world’s most biodiverse habitat on land, making their protection a priority for maintaining biodiversity. They also provide flood control and water regulation benefits. In 2011, we launched a new environmental initiative with funding to help ... Learn More

Project WET is currently active in more than 75 countries around the world through a network of partner organizations that range from small NGOs to major international corporations and organizations. We only go where we’re invited! We work with our ... Learn More

SuWaNu Europe is a project focused on the reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. The reason behind is that wastewater when treated according to appropriate standards and methods has a strong potential to complement conventional water resources used in agricultural ... Learn More

Our water stewardship strategy includes a goal to replenish the water used in our beverages, where it is sourced from areas of water stress, by 2020. In Belgium, our SVAs have shown that we operate in areas of water stress ... Learn More

As part of CCEP’s This is Forward Sustainability Action Plan, we have a target to replenish 100% of the water used in our beverages, where it is sourced from areas of water stress, by 2020. In Belgium, our SVAs have ... Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

This Working Paper proposes a method whereby any decision-maker can calculate the cost required to deliver sustainable water management to a geography. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

Inform and strengthen your company’s water management strategies and allow your investors to evaluate current water management activities against detailed definitions of leading practice. Learn More

Developers: Ceres

Nature-based solution (NBS) can improve degraded ecosystems, help sequester carbon, and manage the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of NBS for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Toolbox connects your business to the latest tools, guidance, case studies, datasets, and more most relevant to you based on your circumstances and interests. It features more than 250+ resources from dozens of organizations and is updated every week. Learn More

Developers: CEO Water Mandate, Pacific Institute

This report makes the case for private sector investment in green infrastructure as part of a broader water stewardship approach. Learn More

Developers: BHP

Urban stormwater is becoming an increasingly important alternative water supply in California. However, current economic analyses do not adequately evaluate co-benefits provided by different stormwater investments. As a result, urban stormwater capture is undervalued. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Global Water Footprint Assessment Standard can be used to provide comparable quantification and robust analytics, helping corporations, governments, and researchers manage water resources and achieve greater water sustainability. Learn More

This guide outlines why and how investors engage on agricultural supply chain water risk. Learn More

Developers: WWF

Adapting to climate change, coupled with the need to address aging infrastructure, population growth, and degraded ecosystems, requires significant investment in natural and built water systems. These investments present a significant opportunity to support not only water, but to provide ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

To provide guidance and a global framework for the design, verification and scaling up of Nature-based Solutions. The Standard includes globally consistent Criteria and Indicators, which are supported by the Principles for Nature-based Solutions, to measure the strength of interventions. Learn More

Developers: International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

To help our partners in responding to this health crisis in their countries, we have compiled different resources and tools around COVID-19 and WASH, which include documents, videos, social media materials with messages on public health, webinar recordings, etc. Learn More

This article presents the state of knowledge with regard to human health and well-being from contact with nature. Learn More

The United Nations World Water Development Report for 2018. Learn More

During an infectious disease outbreak, such as the current outbreak of COVID-19, small business owners must prepare for disruption in their business as well as prepare to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. These steps are recommended ... Learn More

This report shows how putting nature to work can help deliver infrastructure services with greater impact and lower cost, all the while reducing risks from disaster, boosting water security and enhancing climate resilience. Learn More

How to ensure the safety of staff and maintaining water quality in buildings with little or no use. Learn More

This report seeks to provide an overview of the three leading water tools available for corporate water risk assessment. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Colorado River Basin states face significant water challenges, including the overallocation of water, long-term drought, and climate change. This report, commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, explores the potential for corporate water stewardship to help solve these challenges. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The City of Austin, Texas is facing an increasingly uncertain water future, from decreasing water supplies and more intense droughts to periodic flooding and water quality impairments. Austin is addressing these challenges head on, from investments in water efficiency and ... Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Compass Business Tools inventory maps existing business tools against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It allows you to explore commonly used business tools that may be useful when assessing your organization’s impact on the SDGs. Learn More

This report provides findings on good practices of AWS Standard implementation. Learn More

Developers: Pacific Institute

This paper provides examples of how to make progress in service delivery in and beyond the workplace. With private enterprises playing a critical role in contributing to the safety of their staff, it is important to change some of their ... Learn More

This special Academy session covered steps businesses can take to respect and support the rights and lives of women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More

Companies are increasingly setting and pursing ‘water balance targets’ as part of their water stewardship strategies. The seeming simplicity of balance goals can be attractive – “we will restore a volume of water equal to the amount our business consumes.” ... Learn More

Developers: WWF

This report calls for an integrated approach that brings together governments, water users, and the society at large including the private sector, NGOs, and academia to design smart, adaptable and sustainable solutions for water infrastructure impacted by climate change. Learn More

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

The Water Risk Filter can be used to assess and respond to water-related risks for your own operations, suppliers, or growth plans. Learn More

Developers: WWF

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Water Witness International; WaterAid; WBCSD Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UNEP Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ceres Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

PRI; WWF Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

UNICEF; WHO Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

WaterAid Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

U.S. General Services Administration Learn More

National Drought Mitigation Center Learn More

USGS Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

OECD Learn More

SAI Platform Learn More

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