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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 policies26 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.
This report provides for the first time a European overview of the role of forests in water retention, based on the Water Accounts Production Database developed at the EEA. The results represent 287 sub-basins hosting more than 65 000 catchments across Europe. The impact of forests on water retention is measured according to three parameters/characteristics: forest cover (measured in hectares), forest types (coniferous, broad-leaved, mixed), and the degree of management of the forests (‘protected’ versus unprotected/commercial forests). The estimation of the water-retention potential is derived from the relationships between input (rainfall) and output (water run-off into rivers and lakes) as affected by these three forest characteristics.
The report assesses bathing water quality in 2014, indicating where the quality of bathing water is expected to be good in 2015. The report was compiled using information from more than 21 000 bathing waters in the 28 EU Member States. The report also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission.
Experiences from eight case studies across Europe
For many Europeans, summer holidays revolve around bathing water — whether it is snorkelling in turquoise seas, swimming in a lake or surfing. So it is natural that people have a keen interest in the quality of the bathing waters at this time of year. The report assesses bathing water quality in 2013 in all EU Member States plus Albania and Switzerland, indicating where the best quality bathing is likely to be found this year.
The H2020 Mediterranean Report is a joint effort of the EEA and UNEP/MAP resulting from the creation of a regular review mechanism of environmental progress in the three H2020 policy priorities. These are municipal waste, urban waste water and industrial pollution. The report also serves as a contribution to the mid-term review of the H2020 initiative.
Sharing knowledge bases to support environmental and resource-efficiency policies and technical improvements
The main objective of this study is to provide practical knowledge on the current status of the implementation of key principles of Article 9 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and in particular on the cost‑recovery principle.
These are the first EU-level water accounts that display water balances at monthly and sub-basin levels. EEA developed these accounts in the hope that the many data gaps and methodological imperfections will be ironed out in the future.
This report provides a comprehensive synopsis of the quality of bathing waters in the Member States of the European Union in the 2012 bathing season. It thereby gives an indication of the areas where the quality of bathing is expected to be good if not excellent during 2013. The report also shows the evolution of bathing water quality from 1990 to 2012.
This report describes how the natural cycle of water availability is continuously coming under threat from a variety of different pressures like droughts and water scarcity, pollution, and flood risks which all increase the vulnerability of the freshwater ecosystems and societies. Land use, water abstraction and climate change are human-induced changes that alter the natural flow regimes that exist in water bodies.
This report is a synthesis of the main messages from nine EEA reports dealing directly or indirectly with water ecosystems or the pressures acting upon them. It is the last in the series of reports published by the EEA in support of water year 2012. It seeks to first provide an overview of the state of Europe's waters and the pressures acting on those waters. It then looks in greater detail at the economic and social factors driving these pressures, and concludes with a summary of the societal and policy challenges that must be met if water is to be managed sustainably.
This report's results present good and robust European overviews of the data reported by the first RBMPs, and of the ecological status and pressures affecting Europe's waters. Europe's waters are affected by several pressures, including water pollution, water scarcity and floods. Major modifications to water bodies also affect morphology and water flow. To maintain and improve the essential functions of our water ecosystems, we need to manage them well.
This report considers the links between water management in the EU — especially the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) — and territorial cohesion (1), in the perspective of spatial analysis (2) and spatial planning (3). It looks at the role of spatial analysis and planning for the implementation of the Directive as well as related provisions such as the Floods Directive and the development and implementation of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). It considers links between Regional Policy (4) and water management in the EU, including the lessons from a spatial perspective. It further looks at cross‑country cooperation, a key element of both the WFD and territorial cohesion and finally considers future challenges for implementation of the Directive and the development of RBMPs, in particular considering the spatial context.
Rationales, building and improving for widening uses to Water Accounts and WISE applications
Europeans care about water quality and knowing that they have clean and safe water to swim or play in is an important factor in their choice of a holiday or weekend destination. For the tourism industry, clean and safe water is also a major factor in attracting visitors to an area. To allow Europeans to make an informed choice, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission publish an annual report on the quality of more than 22 000 bathing sites. In 2012 the report includes sites in all 27 EU Member States and three other countries. This report can help all water users find high quality bathing water across the region.
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.
In support of the 2011 'Environment for Europe' Ministerial Conference in Astana, EEA has prepared Europe's environment — An Assessment of Assessments (EE-AoA). This report provides a comprehensive overview of available sources of environmental information across the region which directly relate to the themes in focus at the Conference, water and related ecosystems, and green economy.
Chemicals are an essential part of our daily lives and are used to produce consumer goods, to protect or restore our health and to boost food production, to name but a few examples. Some chemicals, however, are hazardous, raising concerns for the environment and human health. Hazardous substances are emitted to fresh and marine waters via a number of pathways and can have detrimental effects on aquatic biota. Humans can be exposed to hazardous substances in water through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water and the consumption of contaminated freshwater fish and seafood. A wide range of legislation now exists in Europe to address the release of hazardous substances to the environment, including water. New challenges exist, however, including the issues of chemical mixtures and emerging pollutants.