Too few water protection areas
Another problem: Bavaria relies on relatively small water protection areas compared to other federal states. While the national average of twelve percent of the state’s area is designated as water protection areas, Bavaria has less than five percent.
In addition, several hundred procedures for reviewing and re-designating protected areas are open. In order to be able to guarantee drinking water protection in line with requirements in the future, these procedures would have to be completed more quickly. “How does a country want to become climate-neutral in 19 years when it takes an average of eight years to designate a water protection area,” asks VBEW managing director Detlef Fischer.
Doubtful steering function
At the suggestion of the expert commission, as the Bavarian Prime Minister Söder suggested in the summer, the so-called water cent will be introduced in Bavaria. This is a water abstraction fee that is intended to act as a steering function towards a more careful use of water as a resource.
The VBEW is critical of the introduction of the water cent. Because the association doubts the steering effect – especially against the background “that particularly intensive water users such as agriculture and probably also industry should be privileged through exceptions”, explains Fischer. Should the water cent be introduced anyway, the funds raised as unbureaucratically as possible would have to be used in a targeted manner for measures to secure and protect drinking water resources. (hp)