Water and marine environment

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All life on our planet - including our ecosystems, society and economy - is dependent on water. Marine and freshwater ecosystems have many vital functions: filtering, diluting and storing water, preventing floods, maintaining the climate balance at local and global levels, safeguarding biological diversity. 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

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100