EEA 2018 Water Assessment

State of Bathing Water

Heading for your favourite beach? Is the bathing water clean? Europe has a great diversity of beautiful beaches and bathing areas, and each year millions of Europeans spend their weekends at their local beach or their holidays cooling down by the water. As this year's bathing season approaches, many citizens have a keen interest in the quality of bathing waters.

Eionet and Waterbase


Eionet is a partnership network of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its 39 member and cooperating countries. The EEA is responsible for developing Eionet and coordinating its activities, together with national focal points (NFPs) in the countries, based in national environment agencies or environment ministries.

Eionet also includes European Topic Centres (ETCs). There are currently six ETCs, one of them on the area of Inland, Coastal and Marine Waters (ETC/ICM). The objectives of the marine, coastal and inland/freshwater activities at the EEA and ETC/ICM are to support and inform policy development and implementation in the area of freshwater, marine and coastal environment by means of data, information/indicators, and assessments.


Waterbase is the generic name given to the EEA's databases on the status and quality of Europe's rivers, lakes, groundwater bodies and transitional, coastal and marine waters, on the quantity of Europe's water resources, and on the emissions to surface waters from point and diffuse sources of pollution.

Waterbase contains timely, reliable and policy-relevant data collected from EEA member countries through the WISE-SoE data collection (formerly known as Eionet-Water and Eurowaternet) process. WISE-SoE data collection selects validated monitoring data from national databases and adds information on the physical characteristics of the water bodies being monitored and on the pressures potentially affecting water quality. The added value of Waterbase is that data collected through the WISE-SoE data collection process are from statistically stratified monitoring stations and groundwater bodies and are comparable at the European level. Waterbase data are primarily used in the production of the EEAs indicator-based factsheets.


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage

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