Cyprus' bathing water declared the best in the EU
Cyprus’ bathing water quality is the highest in Europe according to a European Commission press release published on Thursday, June 16.
The results are cited in the annual Bathing Water Report released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission and compare water quality in more than 21,000 coastal and inland bathing sites across the EU-27.
Cyprus ranked highest with 100% of its bathing water sites meeting strict guide values, followed by Croatia (97.3%), Malta (95.4%), Greece (94.2%) and Ireland (90.1%).
According to the European Commission, the quality of bathing water across Europe declined slightly between 2009 and 2010, but the overall quality was still high. More than 9 out of 10 bathing water sites now meet the minimum requirements.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the quality of bathing water in EU Member States throughout the 2010 bathing season, so swimmers can find areas where water quality is expected to be good during 2011. It also shows trends in bathing water quality since 1990.
The analysis brings together data from more than 21,000 designated bathing waters across Europe, approximately 70% of them coastal sites and the rest inland bathing waters.
According to the report, in 2010, 92.1% of Europe’s coastal bathing waters and 90.2% of inland bathing waters met the minimum quality standards. Only 1.2% of coastal bathing water and 2.8% of inland sites were non-compliant. The remainders are unclassified due to insufficient data.
In general, coastal bathing water quality deteriorated between 2009 and 2010 – the number of bathing water bodies meeting the mandatory values fell by 3.5%, while those meeting guide values fell by 9.5%.
Inland water quality has also dropped. The number of rivers and lakes achieving the guide values fell by 10.2%, although compliance with the mandatory values was almost stationary. Rivers were particularly problematic, with only 25% of river bathing waters achieving guide values, the report said.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said: ''I am glad to see that the quality of Europe's bathing waters remains high, although there is room for improvement. Clean water is a priceless resource, and we should not take it for granted. I would encourage member states to ensure we turn the slight decline we experienced last year into an upward trend''.
Professor Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, underlined that “clean water for swimming is very important for EU citizens, and this information will allow them to demand the highest quality water in lakes, rivers and beaches. Public participation is essential for the continued monitoring of Europe’s bathing water, especially as the effects of climate change become more visible”.