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New evidence published on the water environment

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Today (1 June), the Government has published the latest Outcome Indicator Framework report for the 25 Year Environment Plan.

This report, released annually, is an objective and evidence-based assessment of 66 different indicators linked to the 10 goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan launched in 2018 – including the goal for clean and plentiful water.

It shows, among other things:

  • A broad overview of the condition of the water environment. While the 2020 classifications results showed that only 16% of our waters met the criteria for ‘good ecological status’, the same percentage as in 2016, today’s report provides more detail on elements such as number of invertebrates and the condition of plants and algae.
  • The number of serious (category 1 & 2) pollution incidents from all sectors in rivers, lakes, reservoirs, canals, coasts, estuaries and groundwater. It shows the overall number of incidents has fallen from 427 in 2009 to 266 in 2019.
  • The condition of designated bathing waters where members of the public swim. In 2019, 93% achieved the highest standards of Excellent and Good. Of these 72% achieved Excellent and overall 98.3% met the minimum standard of Sufficient.

The evidence will be used to inform the ongoing work of the Environment Agency and other organisations to protect and improve the water environment. This can only be done through joint working with water companies, farmers, businesses and the general public.

Further graphs can be seen below and in the full report. Classification details of over 400 bathing waters in England are also available on the Swimfo website.

ea graph

EA graph

EA graph







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  1. Comment by Ray Walton posted on

    I don't think anyone will believe this at all. You and the EA have no doubt over time moved the pollution goal posts...outwards to favour polluters, especially UK Privatised Foreign Owned Water and Sewage Companies, changed monitoring and Enforcement procedures, lowered water quality and chemical standards etc. to tick your very own more favorable boxes thus fooling the public that everything is fine and Hunky Dorey. In year 2020...the uncontrolled 400,000 Untreated Raw Sewage Discharges (that are known about) into our Rivers, Streams and Sea for over 3+million hours... says very different and the complete opposite.

  2. Comment by Andy Jones posted on

    Not true. Way way out of step with the current situation on our rivers. You need to get out and manage our rivers and tackle the polluters. It’s all in front of your noses if you go and look. We are destroying our environment and ourselves.
    The answer is simple. Live up to your name and sort it now.


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