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.