2021-02-26

FLEMISH-BRABANT - 20 May 2020. Inhabitants of Flemish Brabant municipalities received a compelling call to strictly limit their water consumption. Despite this, water consumption was abnormally high during this period. Citizens were worried, because in some municipalities there was hardly any water coming out of the tap for a few days. Rainwater wells were empty in many places.

The water provider could not use its full capacity due to the renovation of a water production centre. At the same time, the sale and rental of private swimming pools was promoted extensively and the water bill was far too high according to citizens. Residents reported water wastage at construction sites. Sports fields and front gardens remained far too green. Action against drought in municipalities is slow or nonexistent. Minister Zuhal Demir was indignant and decided to put water policy on the agenda after four years of drought. A tangle of contradictions that raises more and more questions about individual, municipal and Flemish water management and called for an investigation.

Photo: ©MyDS-Myriam De Smet

Team members

Sofia Van Nuffel

Sofia Van Nuffel is a Belgian freelance investigative journalist.

Supported
€ 4.200 allocated on 23/11/2020.
ID
NF/2020/002

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