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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
File The fourth assessment: Presentation of the report at the Belgrade conference
Subtitled movie of the speech hold by Executive Director of the EEA Jacqueline McGlade during the presentation of the 4th pan-European assessment at the UNECE 6th Мinisterial Conference "Environment for Europe", in Belgrade, 10th of October 2007.
Located in Environmental topics Archive: the Belgrade ministerial conference Videos and interviews
Publication Assessing water quality in Europe using stratification techniques — Results of a prototype application using French data
Located in Publications
Publication Towards a European Chemicals Information System: a survey on reported monitoring activities of chemicals in Europe
Located in Publications
File Sources of water pollution
(Transcription of audio on video) Water can be polluted from many sources. Faecal contamination from sewage makes water unpleasant and unsafe for recreational activities such as swimming, boating or fishing. Many organic pollutants, including sewage effluent and farm and food-processing wastes consume oxygen, suffocating fish and other aquatic life. Nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, from everything from farm fertilisers to household detergents, can 'overfertilise' the water causing the growth of large mats of algae, some of which are directly toxic. When the algae die, they sink to the water bottom, decomposing, consuming oxygen and damaging ecosystems. Chemical contaminants including heavy metals, pesticides and some industrial chemicals can threaten wildlife and human health. Sediment run-off from the land can make water muddy, blocking sunlight and, as a result, killing wildlife. And irrigation, especially when used improperly, can bring flows of salts, nutrients and other pollutants from soils into water. Source: SOER 2005
Located in Environmental topics Biodiversity Multimedia
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