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File Getting Europe's precious waters clean again
Protecting water from pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges that we face. In recent decades, major disasters like the Sandoz incident in 1986 demonstrated that pollution knows no frontiers and that strong EU actions and cooperation were needed. This detailed news report looks at the ways in which Europe’s determination to protect water in all its forms is achieving results. From the European quality of the drinking water, through the treatment of waste water, to protection of its rivers, coasts and lakes – over the last few decades it has developed an effective legislative arsenal. The aim of the European Union is for all the water on its territory to by in good status by 2015. Although challenges remain, results are obvious. For example, in 2000, the EU adopted a directive promoting trans-boundary co-operation and introducing the river basin management concept where the territory of the river as a whole is taken into account. And in terms of bathing water, since 1990, the number of bathing sites fulfilling the EU standards has increased by almost 30% to an impressive 90%.
Located in Environmental topics Water Multimedia
GIS Map Application Nitrates in rivers
The map shows the mean annual concentration of nitrates (NO3), expressed as milligrams of NO3-N per litre of water, observed in river monitoring stations and reported by EEA member countries via WISE. For most countries the mean annual value is based on observations over the whole year, whereas some countries only collect samples during the growing season (due to ice cover in winter). Nitrates in excess can cause eutrophication in downstream coastal waters by stimulating excessive growth of algae and other aquatic plants (when nitrogen is the limiting factor for growth) and indirectly causing oxygen deficiency in the bottom waters and reduced biodiversity. High concentration of nitrates also represents a health risk in drinking water (the World Health Organization guideline for drinking water is less 10 mg NO3-N/L, which is the equivalent to approximately 50 mg NO3/L). The purpose of the map is to provide an overview of the mean annual value of nitrates in rivers across Europe and to enable the user to compare values per country, River Basin District (RBD) or individual monitoring station, depending on the scale of visualisation. Historical data since 1993 can be displayed using the time slider.
Located in Data and maps Interactive maps
File Troff document Interview with health expert
Gabriele Schöning - EEA expert on Human Health "People might have different opinions about what are the most important environmental issues at the moment. A very important thing definitely is climate change and how this will affect the whole environment but also human health by increasing ultra-violet radiation which might lead to skin cancers. Other more up to date problems are air pollution problems - although it has become better it is still a thing which affects children's health and is causing allergies. Another point is water quality which, for instance, comes up in old cities where you still have lead water pipes in the houses and this can lead to complications for children and can reduce children's intelligence."
Located in Environmental topics Environment and health Multimedia
Publication 10 messages for 2010 — freshwater ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems in Europe are rich in biodiversity but at risk. They provide essential ecosystem services to humans, such as cleaning water, preventing floods, producing food, providing energy and regulating freshwater resources...
Located in Publications
Data Waterbase - Lakes
Waterbase is the generic name given to the EEA's databases on the status and quality of Europe's rivers, lakes, groundwater bodies and transitional, coastal and marine waters, and on the quantity of Europe's water resources
Located in Data and maps Datasets
Data File QA documentation
Quality control documentation briefly presents ETC/Water and EEA activities focused on quality of Waterbase-Lakes dataset and results of these activities. In addition warning is given on the use of certain records for analytical purposes.
Located in Data and maps Waterbase - Lakes QA documentation
Data Waterbase - Rivers
Waterbase is the generic name given to the EEA's databases on the status and quality of Europe's rivers, lakes, groundwater bodies and transitional, coastal and marine waters, and on the quantity of Europe's water resources
Located in Data and maps Datasets
Daviz Visualization application/vnd.symbian.install Rivers - nitrate - trend analysis
Located in Sandbox PeterK test
Publication Towards efficient use of water resources in Europe
This report makes the case for an integrated water management, starting with better implementation of existing legislation. Clean water is a vitally important natural resource, demanding careful management. It is essential for life and integral to virtually all economic activities, including producing food, energy and industrial outputs. The availability of clean water in sufficient quantities is not only a prerequisite for human health and well-being but also essential for freshwater ecosystems and the many services that they provide.
Located in Publications
Data Waterbase - Emissions to water
Emissions to water are an important element (describing the pressure) in assessment of the state of Europe’s environment (SoE). This database contains data on emissions of nutrients and hazardous substances to water, aggregated within River Basin Districts (RBDs), in the EEA member countries. The reporting process, endorsed by the Water Directors, and this publication of the data, enables all stakeholders to use the data and contributes to streamlining with other reporting processes.
Located in Data and maps Datasets
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100