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%.