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Recommendation of the Council on Strategies for Specific Water Pollutants Control
14 November 1974 - C(74)221


HAVING REGARD to Article 5 b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

HAVING REGARD to Recommendation 51 of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment relating to the protection of the quality of water resources, which are a primary need for social and economic development;

HAVING REGARD to the Recommendation of the Council of 26 May 1972 on Guiding Principles concerning International Economic Aspects of Environmental Policies [C(72)128];

CONSIDERING the increasing variety and total load of specific pollutants in the water environment and the potential hazard to living organisms in general and human health in particular represented by their presence and that such specific pollutants should enter surface and underground waters to the least possible extent;

CONSIDERING that treatment processes currently in use in Member countries are not able to remove certain of these pollutants to the degree desired;

CONSIDERING that States have a responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States;

CONSIDERING that in the water sector, Member Governments have begun to co-operate in:

• Evaluating the relative importance of specific pollutants in the management of water resources;

• Assessing the effectiveness of the available technologies for, and the cost of potable water purification, municipal and industrial waste water treatment;

• Investigating alternative strategies for the control of specific pollutants within industrial processes;

• Analysing the policy and economic instruments which can lead to the development of guidelines for pollution control and management of industrialised river basins;

On the proposal of the Environment Committee;

I.   RECOMMENDS that the Governments of the Member countries intensify their efforts:

i)      To identify pollutants of particular significance in the water environment, their origin and pathway through the water bodies;

ii)   To prevent these pollutants from reaching water bodies by all appropriate means such as modification of industrial processes, recovery and re-use, product substitution and treatment of pollutants at source utilising improved technologies;

iii)   To assess the investment required to achieve the desired level of water quality.

II.   INSTRUCTS the Environment Committee to report to the Council on action taken pursuant to this Recommendation.

Relevant body:
Environment Committee now called Environment Policy Committee
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