ETC/ICM Report 1/2012: Ecological and chemical status and pressures in European waters

13 Nov 2012

Nils Hettich

The European Union (EU) Member States have reported the ecological and chemical status of their surface waters and groundwater as parts of the River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) required under the Article 13 of the Water Framework Directive. 

Information on status from more than 127 000 surface water bodies (82 % rivers, 15 % lakes, 3 % coastal and transitional waters) and more than 13 000 groundwater bodies show that more than half of the surface water bodies in Europe are reported to be in less than good ecological status or potential, and will need mitigation and/or restoration measures to meet the Water Framework Directive objective. The pressures reported to affect most surface water bodies are pollution from diffuse sources, in particular from agriculture, causing nutrient enrichment, and hydromorphological pressures resulting in altered habitats. 

Poor chemical status was reported for 25% of the groundwater area across Europe, mostly caused by excessive levels of nitrate. 

This report summarises the results and main findings including the uncertainties in the results, and is a background report for the EEA Report 8/2012 'European waters - assessment of status and pressures' 

Prepared by: ETC/ICM members: Anne Lyche Solheim, Kari Austnes (NIVA), Monika Peterlin (IWRS), Vít Kodeš, Renata Filippi, Silvie Semerádová, Hana Prchalová, Anita Künitzer (CENIA), Claudette Spiteri, Theo Prins (Deltares), Robert Peter Collins and EEA: Peter Kristensen

Published by: ETC/ICM, November 2012, 146 pp.