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Water is essential for life on our planet. Our ecosystems, society and economy all need clean fresh water in sufficient amounts to thrive. But water resources are under increasing pressure in many parts of the world, and Europe is no exception. We must improve the way we use and manage our water resources if we are to continue to benefit from the vital services our water ecosystems provide. More
- Key facts and messages
- Full and coordinated implementation of water and nature legislation would restore aquatic habitats and foster water efficiency. more
- Nutrient enrichment of Europe's freshwaters is a concern, with pollution from agriculture a cause of poor water quality. more
- Average nitrate concentrations in European rivers reduced by over 20% between 1992 and 2012, whilst orthophosphate concentrations more than halved. more
- Water management should improve with the second round of river basin management plans covering the 2016-2021 period resulting in the realisation of more policy objectives through stringent, well-integrated implementation and public participation. more
- Intensive agriculture, urbanisation, energy production and flood protection have altered European hydrological systems and freshwater habitats for decades. Climate change adds to these challenges (higher water temperature, more floods or water... more
- Enhanced integration of water policy objectives into other policy areas, especially agriculture, is essential to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good quality water is available for people's needs and the environment. more
- Much cleaner than 25 years ago, many waterbodies are still affected by pollutants and/or altered habitats. In 2009, only 43% showed a good/high ecological status; the 10 points expected increase for 2015 (53%) constitutes only a modest improvement... more
Quality of Europe’s water for people’s use has improved, but challenges remain to keep it clean and healthyNews 30 Nov 2016
The quality of drinking water and bathing water, and the effectiveness of waste water treatment across the European Union continues to improve, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today. However, pollution from sources like waste water treatment plants, agricultural runoff and storm water overflows, and emerging risks like micro pollutants from personal care products pose challenges to maintaining clean and healthy water for people’s use.
Rivers and lakes located in European cities and towns are getting cleaner thanks to improvements in waste water treatment and restoration projects which have brought many waterways back to life. New forms of water management contribute to make our cities greener, smarter and more sustainable, but key challenges remain, according to a new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) released today.
Society depends on the satisfactory and sustainable management of water. This report considers three pieces of EU water legislation targeted at particular sectors: the Bathing Water Directive, the Drinking Water Directive and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, and looks at common issues in the context of the Water Framework Directive. A review of the implementation of each of the sectoral directives is provided.
Most European cities have at least one river or lake crossing their urban landscape. Urbanisation has come at a cost to rivers and lakes, as they have been heavily degraded to enable development, carry waste, supply drinking water and facilitate transport and industry.
Every summer, European holiday resorts fill up with tourists eager to enjoy the warmer weather and the beautiful natural surroundings of this diverse continent. For many, the summer vacation is synonymous with swimming in the sea or in a lake, so it is natural that water quality is an important factor in choosing a destination. To help citizens make informed choices, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission publish the annual European bathing water quality report. The information contained in this edition - which covers bathing water quality in 2015 in the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland - indicates where good quality bathing water is likely to be found in 2016.
Flood risks and environmental vulnerability — Exploring the synergies between floodplain restoration, water policies and thematic policiesPublication 26 Jan 2016
This report focuses on the role of floodplains in flood protection, water management, nature protection or agriculture and the impact of hydromorphological alterations on the ecosystem services that floodplains provide. The aim is to support the implementation of the EU Floods Directive (EU, 2007), in particular with regard to environmental impacts and how these can be linked to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. It looks at synergies between water management, nature conservation and economic developments both in the field and on policy level.