Chemical status of surface water bodies

Dashboard (Tableau)
Prod-ID: DAS-42-en
Published 03 Jul 2018
1 min read
For surface waters, good chemical status means that no concentrations of priority substances exceed the relevant EQS established in the Environmental Quality Standards Directive 2008/105/EC (as amended by the Priority Substances Directive 2013/39/EU). EQS aim to protect the most sensitive species from direct toxicity, including predators and humans via secondary poisoning. A smaller group of priority hazardous substances were identified in the Priority Substances Directive as uPBT (ubiquitous (present, appearing or found everywhere), persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic). The uPBTs are mercury, brominated diphenyl ethers (pBDE), tributyltin and certain polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Click on <..> to see different dashboards, more dashboards are available below the main dashboard.

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In addition, further information is provided in a Guide to dashboards on chemical status; in chapter 3 of the  EEA report European waters – assessment of status and pressures 2018, and section 2.5 Chemical status and exemptions of the WFD 2016 reporting guidance.

Further information on surface water ecological status or potential is available in following dashboards:

Caution is advised when comparing Member States and when comparing the first and second RBMPs, as the results are affected by the methods Member States have used to collect data and often cannot be compared directly. The major contribution to variability seems to arise from the approach taken to monitoring, modelling and extrapolating results and from the choice of monitoring matrix: water, sediment or biota (e.g. fish).  Some countries extrapolated failure to meet the standard at monitoring sites to all water bodies, while others reported failure only where failure was confirmed. Typically, measurements of mercury in biota extrapolated to all similar water bodies lead to widespread failure to meet the EQS.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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