How good is the water you are swimming in? Water Europe WG released a new survey on Bathing Water Management


Following the public consultation on the Roadmap for the assessment of the Bathing Water Directive that closed on the 1st of April, Water Europe is currently collecting information to prepare the next round of consultation scheduled for the second quarter of 2021. For those interested in contributing with information, please contact us.

In this context, Water Europe and the Digital Water City project (DWC) aim at organizing a workshop during the Water Knowledge Europe 2021 to highlight the latest developments in the field of bathing water management and to promote the DWC’s early-warning system. To prepare the workshop, a survey has been developed for all Water Europe members to ask them for their issues concerning bathing waters, their interest to be part of the workshop preparation committee, to present their product/solution and to test the DWC early warning system. Please complete the survey here.

The latest report Bathing Water report, published by the European Environment Agency, showed that almost 83 % of Europe’s bathing water sites met the European Union’s most stringent ‘excellent’ water quality standards. In cooperation with the European Commission, the report Zero Pollution: Vast majority of Europe’s bathing waters meet the highest quality standards is based on the 2020 monitoring of 22 276 bathing sites across Europe.

The share of ‘excellent’ coastal and inland swimming sites has stabilised in recent years at around 85% and in 2020 was 82.8% across Europe. The minimum ‘sufficient’ water quality standards were met at 93% of the sites monitored in 2020 and in five countries — Cyprus, Austria, Greece, Malta and Croatia — 95 % or more bathing waters were of excellent quality.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, said: “Bathing water quality in Europe remains high and it’s a good news for Europeans, who will be heading to beaches and bathing sites this summer. This is the result of more than 40 years of Bathing Water Directive, hard work by dedicated professionals and cooperation. The Zero Pollution Action Plan adopted in May will help to keep the waters healthy and safe and our seas and rivers clean.”

Two thirds of bathing sites are located along Europe’s coasts. The results give a good indication as to where swimmers can find the best quality bathing waters. The quality of several bathing waters could not be classified in the current assessment, as pandemic restrictions led to an inadequate number of samples being collected. Learn more in the official report here.


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