Croatia among countries with best bathing waters in Europe

BRUSSELS, 21.5.2013.

Croatia is among countries with the highest-quality bathing waters in Europe, according to a report by the European Environment Agency and the European Commission on bathing water quality in the 27 EU member states, Croatia and Switzerland.

The European Commission issues a report on the quality of bathing water every year before the bathing season, providing data gathered during the previous season.

The European Environment Agency compiles water quality data from more than 22,000 bathing sites, more than a third of which are coastal beaches, while the rest are rivers and lakes. The data includes levels of bacteria from waste waters and livestock.

The report reveals that of 912 coastal bathing sites in Croatia, 876 of them, or 96.1%, have excellent water, bathing water at 26 of them was satisfactory while data from six sites was insufficient.

The water at all coastal bathing sites in Cyprus (112 sites) and Slovenia (21) was of excellent quality.

Ninety-five per cent of bathing sites in the 29 countries meet the minimum standards for water quality and 78% of sites are rated as excellent. The water at all bathing sites in Cyprus and Luxembourg is excellent. Eight other countries have excellent quality values above the EU average: Malta (97%), Croatia (95%), Greece (93%), Germany (88%), Portugal (87%), Italy (85%), Finland (83%) and Spain (83%).

"It's encouraging to see the quality of European bathing waters continuing to improve. But more remains to be done to ensure all our waters are suitable for bathing and drinking and that our aquatic ecosystems are in good health. Water is a precious resource and we need to put into practice all the necessary measures to protect it in full," Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said. (Hina)