Europe’s waters are much cleaner than they were 25 years ago, says a new report from the EU’s European Environment Agency, however it notes that challenges still remain.
The State of the Environment report, released today, finds that agricultural nitrogen balances are declining, but are still high in some countries, particularly in lowland western Europe.
"More than 40% of rivers and coastal water bodies are affected by diffuse pollution from agriculture," it says, "while between 20% and 25% are subject to point source pollution, for example, from industrial facilities, sewage systems and wastewater treatment plants."
Dr. Charlotte Hall, Research Coordinator for Earthwatch says:
“We can see from the report that there has been a small improvement in lake and river quality which is good, but not nearly the level of improvement that there needs to be. The report also doesn’t take small water bodies into account. Ponds in the UK support more endangered species than any other fresh water bodies, so they are a significant factor when considering the health of Europe’s fresh water.”
FreshWater Watch is a citizen science initiative to gather data on waterbodies to help understand how best to preserve these precious resources. See here more information on how to get involved.