Cyprus and Malta Have Best Bathing Waters
If you’re planning a holiday in Europe for the summer with the intention of bathing is temperate azure waters, consider a Cyprus or Malta holiday as your number one destination choice. According to the Bathing Water Report conducted by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission, Cyprus had the best bathing waters followed by Malta in 2011. Impressively, 92.1% of bathing water in the European Union met the requirements for minimum water standards of quality, outlined by the Bathing Water Directive. The water report assessed over 22,000 bathing sites in Europe and included coastal regions, rivers and lakes.
The Best and Worst Bathing Waters in Europe
According to the Bathing Water Report, the four top countries for best bathing waters are Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Greece; all achieved excellent results. Together, over 90% of the sites from these countries met the most stringent guidelines and were categorised as excellent quality. The remaining 2.1% met mandatory guidelines only. Focusing on a single country, according to the Bathing Water Report, around 97.7% of bathing waters in Malta, both inland and coastal, were in the category of ‘excellent quality’. This means that out of the eighty seven assessed sites, only two were below quality standards, making a Malta holiday ideal for those who enjoy swimming or participating in aquatic sports. The water report cited the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Bulgaria and Latvia and Belgium as having the lowest percentage of excellent and acceptable bathing waters, especially when considering inland waters such as lakes and rivers.
Bathing Water Report Overall
Although the Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik felt positive about the general high quality of Europe’s bathing water, there was still room for individual countries to make improvements. However, it was noted that the Bathing Water Report had showed better results that last year. Overall, the water report found that 77.1% of all water sites were of excellent quality compared to last year’s 73.6%. Around 93.1% were categorised as sufficient, meeting mandatory requirements. A mere 2% of all European bathing waters were found to be non-compliant. When considering water reports form 1990, the water quality has seen a massive increase. Since 1990, coastal bathing waters non-compliant with the Bathing Water Directive’s guidelines have dropped from 9.2% to 1.5%. Non-compliant inland waters have dropped from 11.9% to 2.4%.
The European Environment Agency and (EEA) the European Commission will continue to ensure the high quality of water for the uses of bathing and drinking and that the aquatic eco-system in general is in good health. For more information on the water quality of bathing sites and for a full water report, visit the Water Information System for Europe (WISE).