The state of the environment: water quality (2018)

The state of the environment: water quality

By Environment Agency


Key findings:

• In 2016, 86% of river water bodies had not reached good ecological status. The main reasons for this are agriculture and rural land management, the water industry, and urban and transport pressures.

• Water quality issues were the cause of 38% of all fish test failures, and 61% of invertebrate test failures in rivers in 2015.

• Pollutant loads to rivers from water industry discharges have declined in recent years, with reductions of up to 70% since 1995.

• Over the last decade the number of serious water pollution incidents from water companies has remained broadly the same, with about 60 incidents each year. That is more than one a week.

• For assessed river water bodies in England, 55% were at less than good status for phosphorus in 2016.

• Nearly half of groundwater bodies will not reach good chemical status by 2021. For groundwaters protected for drinking water, nitrate levels were responsible for 65% of failures to achieve good chemical status.

• Bathing water quality has improved over the last 30 years with 98% passing minimum standards and 65% at excellent status in 2017.

• Population growth, climate change, emerging chemicals, plastic pollution, nano-particles and fracking all present potential future threats to water quality.

For the full report follow this linkState_of_the_environment_water_quality_report_2016