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New indicator on pesticides in European waters

New indicator on pesticides in European waters

The EEA has published a new indicator that tracks findings of pesticides in Europe’s rivers, lakes and groundwatersThe data, collected from EEA member countries across Europe, shows the share of water bodies where excessive levels of pesticides have been recorded from 2013 to 2019. The data are limited to those pesticides reported by countries to EEA for which exceedance thresholds have been set in Europe.

The new EEA indicator shows that levels of pesticides exceeding thresholds were measured in a quarter of all reported monitoring sites in European surface waters in 2019. From 2013 to 2019, this share varied between 13% and 30%. The share for groundwater with exceedances was considerably lower, at between 3% and 7%.

In about a quarter of the monitored sites for lakes and rivers, harmful levels of pesticides were measured in 2019. Less so in groundwater.

The dataset, reported by countries voluntarily, still has considerable gaps and it is too early to detect a stable trend in pesticides pollution in European waters.

Pesticides differ from many other pollutants as they are designed to have effects on organisms, such as plants, insects and fungi, and therefore can  have an impact on the environment. In the EU, pesticides are regulated on the basis of high protection goals for human health and the environment, with being authorised only after a comprehensive scientific risk assessment. Nevertheless, pesticide contamination of surface waters and groundwater can still occur and could affect aquatic fauna and flora.

Pesticides can end up in rivers, lakes and groundwaters, with potential to harm aquatic ecosystems and water quality. The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) new indicator, which aims to track Europe’s progress in reducing pesticides in waters, shows that excessive levels of pesticides have been recorded in a considerable share of European freshwaters.

The EEA aims to update the indicator next year and it will be part of a wider set of indicators that track progress on the European Commission zero pollution ambition, “Farm to Fork” and Biodiversity strategies that are part of the European Green Deal.

Source – European Environment Agency

Verde Environmental Consultants have built a team of water resource assessment specialists who are focused on delivering quality  hydrogeological services to our clients in industry, such as:

  • groundwater abstraction feasibility assessments
  • authorisation of discharges to groundwater technical assessments
  • water quality/level monitoring
  • Rivers and Lakes monitoring.

The development of sustainable groundwater resources is a key element in helping our clients to reduce costs associated with the use of water.