Jul 03, 2018

New Survey Finds European Waterways Fail Water Quality Tests

The survey, by the European Environmental Agency, investigated 130,000 waterways across Europe

European water bodies fail water quality tests
European water bodies fail water quality tests

According to a new survey by the European Environmental Agency (EEA), only 40% of surface water bodies surveyed in Europe met the minimum ecological standards for habitat degradation and pollution. Furthermore, the survey found that water bodies in England were among the worst offenders. The report, titled “The State of Our Waters,” investigated 130,000 waterways across Europe.

Peter Kristensen, the report’s lead author, told The Guardian that higher population densities combined with intensive agricultural practices contribute to England’s low score.

“England is comparable to countries in central Europe with a high proportion of water bodies failing to reach good status,” Kristensen said. “The situation is much better in Scotland, where only around 45% of sites failed [to meet minimum standards].”

Despite the poor results, Karmenu Vella, the European Union's environment commissioner found there to be overall improvement in European waterways since 2010.

“But much more needs to be done before all lakes, rivers, coastal water and groundwater bodies are in good status,” Vella said. “Tackling pollution from agriculture, industry and households requires joint efforts from all water users throughout Europe.”

The complete “State of Our Waters” survey can be found through the European Environment Agency.