Urban Water Agenda


Launch of the EEA State of Water Report

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released an important health check, the State of Water Report 2018, to reflect on the progress achieved in improving Europe’s quality of water eighteen years after the Water Framework Directive (WFD) has entered into force, and the second assessment since 2012.

The report indicates an improvement of Europe’s surface and ground waters, advancement in urban wastewater treatment, as well as reductions in the pollution of water bodies and nutrient pollution from agriculture. This is the good news. However, whereas the general trend is upward, the majority of Europe’s surface waters (approximately 60%) still fails to meet the EU’s minimum target for ‘good status’ as per the WFD. The report names pollution, infrastructure like dams, and over-abstraction as the top threats to the health and vitality of European waters.

Commissioner Vella welcomed the EEA report and remarked on the need to use it as a tool towards further improving Europe’s water. He also noted that the EU legislative framework on water is strong and offers an “integrated framework for the improvement of water quality and quantity at the level of the river basins through the WFD,” and that the EC continues to “support implementation of the legislation wherever it can, providing guidance, facilitating exchanges between Member States and stakeholders, providing knowledge and science, and making finance available through different EU instruments.”

The EC has launched the Fitness Check of water legislation recently and plans to adopt a report on the implementation of the WFD later this year.


Publication date: 11 July 2018