Jun 15, 2010

Coastal Water Quality

Estimated Article Reading Time: 1 min.

Annual bathing water report of the European Commission and the European Environment Agency

To allow Europeans to make an informed choice on which beach to choose, an annual report on the quality of coastal and freshwater bathing areas, as reported by EU Member States, is prepared by the European Environment Agency (EEA). For this year the report was produced in cooperation with the European Commission (DG Environment) and published on 10 June 2010. It assesses the bathing water quality in all 27 EU Member States in the 2009 bathing water season and therefore gives an indication of the areas where the quality of bathing is expected to be good for this year.

Of the 20 000 bathing areas monitored throughout the EU in 2009, two thirds were on the coast and the rest were at rivers and lakes. The results show that 96 % of coastal bathing areas and 90 % of bathing sites in rivers and lakes complied with minimum standards in 2009.

The report also describes where to obtain detailed and up-to-date information on bathing sites, notably the EEA’s web-based tools that provide citizens easy access to environmental information as well as a platform for expressing their observations.

In order to better determine the quality of bathing water, in 2006 a new Bathing Water Directive took effect, which places greater emphasis on providing information to the public on the quality of bathing areas. Member States have until 2015 to implement the new Directive fully but fourteen Member States already monitored their bathing areas during the 2009 bathing season according to the new Directive’s requirements.

Finally, efforts to improve the quality of bathing waters should be seen in the context of Europe’s efforts to achieve good ecological and environmental status in accordance with the EU Water and Marine Framework Directives.

More information at:http://www.eea.europa.eu/pressroom/newsreleases/eu-bathing-water-quality-remains-high