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95.8% of bathing waters in Greece have “excellent quality”, says EEA

The quality of water in 95.8% of bathing sites throughout Greece is “excellent”   the updated report released by the European Environmental Agency and the European Commission said on Tuesday.

The report is on the state of Europe’s bathing waters in 2023.

The highest share of excellent bathing waters is found in Cyprus, Croatia, Austria and Greece. In Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Malta, Austria and Romania, all officially identified bathing waters met at least the minimum quality standard in 2023.

Proportion of bathing waters with excellent quality in European countries in 2023

The overwhelming majority of bathing sites in Europe met the highest standards of quality in 2023.

 Bathing water quality in Europe (EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland) in 2023

Overall, 85.4% of bathing sites were found to be of “excellent quality”, while 96% of officially recognized bathing sites met the minimum quality standards. Only   1.5% were classified as “poor.”

The quality of the water in coastal areas is generally better than that of inland waters, with 89% of coastal bathing waters classified as “excellent” compared with 79% of inland bathing waters.

The assessment, put together by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission, highlights where swimmers can find safe bathing sites in Europe this summer. It focuses specifically on safety for bathing, through monitoring of bacteria which can cause serious illness in people, rather than general water quality.

The bathing quality of coastal water is generally better compared to inland water. In 2023, 89% of coastal bathing sites classified are of excellent quality, compared to just under 79% of inland bathing waters.

The assessment for today’s report is based on the monitoring of 22,081 bathing sites across Europe that were reported to the EEA for the 2023 season. This includes sites in all EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland. It is based on data reported by Member States for the 2020-2023 bathing seasons.

Alongside this year’s Bathing Water Report, the EEA has also released an updated interactive map showing the performance of each bathing site. Updated country reports are also available, as well as more information on the implementation of the directive in countries.

Although most of Europe’s bathing waters are in excellent condition from a bacteriological perspective, pollution of surface and groundwaters remains significant and may be exacerbated by the changing climate. Improving water resilience for people and for the environment in coming years will be key.

Since the adoption of the Bathing Water Directive in 2006, the share of bathing waters with poor water quality has dropped and has been stable since 2015.

Updated Interactive MAP incl Greece sites here.

More details in EEA website here.

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