Hamburg becomes a member of the global Blue Community citizen initiative

For Hamburgers it is obvious that clear, clean drinking water always comes out of the tap, perfect in every respect. The Senate and the municipal company HAMBURG WASSER are fully committed to ensuring Hamburg’s high standards of drinking water supply, as well as ensuring the water supply of the next generation. Drinking water is and will remain a public good in Hamburg and this is also one of the key principles of the Blue Community initiative. It is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to clean drinking water, that the water supply remains in public hands, that drinking water is available everywhere so that bottled water can be disposed of. Likewise, countries with good water supplies should help countries with poorer access to clean water to improve supply standards for their populations.

Michael Pollmann, Councilor of State for Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture: “Access to high-quality drinking water must be protected as a public good and preserved for future generations. Regarding climate change, this task is becoming more and more important, because periods of drought also mean that we must be careful of water in our latitudes. Hamburg has long based its actions in this sector on the principles of the Blue Community. By joining this city initiative, we want to further expand the previous activities of the environmental authority and the water supplier. Among other things, our goal will be to promote the use of tap water instead of bottled mineral water. This includes the corresponding offers in public places and public buildings, for which, however, federal regulations still have to be awaited. On the other hand, we want to make citizens aware of the economic use of drinking water. To this end, various communication campaigns are planned “.

Ingo Hannemann, Managing Director HAMBURG WASSER: “Always available clean water is a matter of course for us in everyday life. However, it is by no means obvious that this is and will remain so. Being accepted into the circle of the Blue Communities is therefore not only an honor for us, but also an obligation. It is important to ensure a high level of comfort in the long term and to further develop the existing infrastructure in a sustainable way. At the same time, we want to help ensure that everyone has access to these functioning systems. To this end, we are involved in partnerships of international operators. Not only do we transfer our know-how to countries like Tanzania, Rwanda or Jordan, but we also learn a lot ourselves.

This exchange on an equal footing with international partners fits in well with the principles of the Blue Communities, which are based on international partnerships between municipal water suppliers ”.

The principles of the Blue Community support a concept of sustainable use of drinking water. By promoting the use of tap water, they help reduce the production of beverage packaging and save on transport distances. Both benefit from climate protection.

In order to facilitate the transition from bottled water to tap water to work, HAMBURG WASSER and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg have concluded a framework agreement that allows all municipal institutions to obtain water dispensers from HAMBURG WASSER . There are already over 500 such water dispensers in schools, authorities and districts. Just last week, two water dispensers were installed in refugee housing in the exhibition halls. Private companies can also turn to HAMBURG WASSER if they want to offer their staff fresh drinking water in the workplace.

The Blue Community initiative was launched in 2009 by the NGO The Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest civil society association. The Municipalities that adhere to this initiative, now active worldwide, recognize water as a public good in a particular way and undertake to respect the following principles:

  1. Recognition of access to drinking water and sanitation as a human right
  2. Keep water services in public hands (water / wastewater)
  3. Encourage the use of tap water instead of bottled water
  4. Maintaining public partnerships with international partners

More than 50 cities and local authorities around the world already join the Blue Community initiative, eg. Paris, Berlin and Munich. Hamburg has long based its actions in the water sector on the principles of the Blue Community. Recognizing access to safe water and sanitation as a human right is an important guideline for the Senate.

Maude Barlow, promoter of the Blue Community, is one of the world’s leading water activists. she that access to clean water has been recognized as a human right by the United Nations.

World Water Day was established by the United Nations in 1992 and has been held on March 22 every year since 1993. The goal of World Water Day is to draw attention to the importance of water as the basis of life for humanity. This day is used to promote concrete actions to raise public awareness about water and to focus on the critical water issues of our time. World Water Day has grown in importance over the years. The motto of this year’s World Water Day is “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible”:

More information about the Blue Community, groundwater and drinking water in Hamburg on the Internet at:

Media inquiries

Authority for the Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture (BUKEA)
Press office
Renate Pinzke
Phone: 040 42840 8006

Press office
Ole Braukmann
Phone: 040 7888-88222,

Leave a Comment