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Over 85% of European bathing sites rated as excellent for water quality

Just over 85% of bathing water sites across Europe monitored last year met the European Union’s highest ‘excellent’ and most stringent quality standards for water cleanliness, according to the latest annual European bathing water quality report. The results published today give a good indication of where the best quality bathing waters are likely to be found this summer.

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Contamination of European seas continues despite some positive progress

There is a shared vision to achieve clean, non toxic seas but their contamination with synthetic substances as well as heavy metals continues to be a large-scale problem in Europe. According to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today, between 75 and 96 % of the assessed area of Europe’s regional seas have a contamination problem.

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Industrial emissions to water decreased in Europe but current levels are still a challenge for European waters

Direct emissions released to water bodies from Europe’s large industrial sites have decreased in recent years for many pollutants. However, industrial pollution transferred through the sewer systems to urban waste water treatment plants (UWWTPs) has slightly increased, putting pressure on the waste water treatment infrastructure. While EU legislation tracks emissions from large industries, the extent of emissions from many small facilities remain largely unknown at European level. These are the key findings of a new European Environment Agency (EEA) analysis on data reported to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR) and under EU legislation on water.

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More action needed to tackle mixtures of chemicals in Europe's waters

Despite successes in addressing some of the most hazardous chemicals, more attention is needed to address the danger posed by the 'cocktail effect' of lower concentrations of chemicals in European lakes, rivers and other surface water bodies, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today.

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Restoring floodplains would improve state of water, ecosystems and climate protection in Europe

Areas next to rivers hold potential for cost-effective flood protection and improving the health of an entire river ecosystem. According to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today, restoring European floodplains closer to their natural state would contribute to the achievement of several European Union policies. Estimates suggest that 70-90 % of Europe’s floodplain area is ecologically degraded.

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WaterPIX photo competition winners announced

Cattle crossing a river in Turkey, a dramatic shot of a diving kingfisher in Croatia and a fisherman paddling on a Polish lagoon were some of the top winners of the WaterPIX photo competition announced today. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) competition drew over 2000 entries from 34 countries.

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Mercury pollution remains a problem in Europe and globally

Historical and current emissions of mercury continue to present a significant risk to the environment and human health, according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today. The main source of new mercury emissions in Europe is coal burning but about half of the mercury deposited in Europe’s environment originates from outside Europe.

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Vote for your favourite WaterPIX finalist photos

The WaterPIX photo competition, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA), has reached its last stage with 49 finalist photos. A public online vote that starts today will decide the winner of the Public Choice Award.

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Water in Europe means life, health, food, leisure, energy and more

Europe's freshwater and marine resources may seem limitless but they are under increasing pressure from pollution, over-exploitation and climate change. The European Environment Agency's (EEA) Signals 2018 explores the state and trends of Europe’s waters, asking how we can ensure healthy rivers, lakes, groundwater resources and seas for future generations.

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European waters getting cleaner, but big challenges remain

Despite progress in improving the quality of Europe’s lakes, rivers, coastal waters and groundwater sources, pollution, structures like dams, and over-abstraction remain top threats to their long-term health. A vast majority of Europe’s water bodies still fail to meet the European Union’s minimum target for ‘good status’, according to a European Environment Agency ‘state of water’ report published today.

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Good news for holiday makers: excellent water quality at vast majority of European bathing sites

Despite a slight drop in results, 85% of swimming sites across Europe monitored in 2017 met the European Union's highest and most stringent 'excellent' quality standards for waters mostly free from pollutants, according to the latest annual European bathing water quality report published today. The results give a good indication where holiday makers can find the best quality bathing waters this summer.

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Vote for best ‘I LIVE GREEN’ videos

The video competition ‘I LIVE GREEN’, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its partner network, has reached the final stage. The Public Choice Award will be decided through an open online vote where you can have your say about the best video.

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Photo competition: Send us your best water pictures

What comes to your mind when you think about water? Can you capture that in a photograph? The European Environment Agency (EEA) invites you to send your most creative shots to WaterPIX, a photo competition about water. The best entries will receive a cash prize.

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World Water Day: Turning to nature for solutions

Nature-based solutions are playing an increasingly important role to better protect Europeans against floods, droughts and water pollution. On World Water Day 2018, the European Environment Agency is highlighting the importance of clean water and how nature can help protect this valuable resource for generations to come.

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Video competition: Share your green actions

How did you get to work or school today? By car, bicycle or public transport? Every day we make decisions that can impact the environment. Some of our daily decisions are conscious efforts to live in a cleaner and healthier environment. The video competition ‘I LIVE GREEN’, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its partner network, invites all Europeans to show their creativity and to share their actions to help the environment. The best videos will receive a cash prize.

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Restoring floodplains and wetlands offer value-for-money solution to river flooding

Investing in ‘green infrastructure’ like restoring floodplains or wetlands to bolster flood prevention not only generates more environmental and socio-economic benefits, especially in the long term, but also lowers the amount of financial investment needed to defend against damaging floods. This is the conclusion of a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report published today, which assesses the green options available in building climate resilience in wake of the increased risk posed by river flooding.

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Better mix of measures including pricing and awareness campaigns key to improving sustainable water use

In the face of challenges like drought and growing demand in many European Union countries, managing water supplies will require a better mix of pricing and non-pricing measures to ensure efficient household water use, according to a new European Environment Agency briefing published today.

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European action can help ease pressure on threatened Arctic environment

The Arctic region is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average, resulting in profound and rapid changes in its living conditions and the environment. A European Environment Agency (EEA) report, published today, looks at how the rest of Europe affects the Arctic environment and how changes in the region impact Europe in return.

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More European sites meet excellent bathing water quality standards than ever before

More than 85 percent of bathing water sites monitored across Europe in 2016 met the most stringent ‘excellent’ quality standards — meaning they were mostly free from pollutants harmful to human health and the environment, according to the annual bathing water quality report published today. Over 96 percent of bathing water sites met minimum quality requirements set out under European Union rules.

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Quality of Europe’s water for people’s use has improved, but challenges remain to keep it clean and healthy

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.

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