2.4 Overall progress since the first RBMPs

Overall, the second RBMPs show limited change in all four measures of status[1], as most of the water bodies had the same status within both cycles. However, fewer water bodies with unknown status increased both the proportion with good status and the proportion with less good status. The analysis of the second RBMPs shows that there has been progress in the status of single quality elements and single pollutants.

There are several possible explanations for the limited improvement in groundwater and surface water status[2] from the first to the second RBMPs:

  • First, additional biological and chemical monitoring was implemented after 2009 and the classification methods were improved.
  • Second, for some water bodies, some quality elements have improved in status, but there has been no improvement in their overall ecological status.
  • Third, the second RBMPs generally show status classification up to 2012/2013, and at that time many measures were only in the process of being implemented; therefore, there may be a lag-time before pressures are reduced and status improves.
  • Finally, some pressures may have been unknown in 2009, and so the measures implemented may not have been sufficient or as effective as expected in reducing these.

In the next Section 3, the key pressures and their drivers on European water bodies are illustrated in more detail for a number of selected European key water management challenges. These include summaries of key measures available to tackle these and reference to key management challenges of EU-wide relevance (ongoing challenges and new challenges ahead).

[1] Surface water ecological and chemical status and groundwater chemical and quantitative status.

[2] 'Groundwater status' is the general expression of the status of a body of groundwater, determined by the poorer of its quantitative and chemical status; 'surface water status' is the general expression of the status of a body of surface water, determined by the poorer of its ecological and chemical status.

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