The two indicators provide an overview of the water quality from the nutrient and pesticide perspective in European freshwaters. We update the indicators annually, according to the Eionet WISE dataflows (Waterbase - Water Quality database).
To produce the EEA indicator on freshwater quality, we have assessed monitoring data of more than 7600 monitoring sites accross Europe that monitor organic load in rivers caused by human activity. After a stable decrease of pollution in the past decade, the concentrations have stabilised in the recent years, partly corresponding to the natural background values and partly indicating that the existing measures for improving water quality (such as waste-water treatment policies) have reached their potential.
For the pesticides indicator, the data from more than 10 thousand surface water and more than 13 thousand groundwater monitoring sites were used. These are collected from EEA member countries across Europe, showing the share of water bodies where excessive levels of pesticides have been recorded from 2013 to 2020. In the most recent monitoring year of 2020, 22% of surface water and 6% of groundwater monitoring sites exceeded the thresholds.
The indicators are available at the EEA website:
Oxygen consuming substances in European rivers