Water quality and health: surfers, water sports users, raise your voice now!


For more than 15 years, we have been waiting for the European Directive on bathing water quality to be revised by the European Commission, in order to strengthen water quality controls on bathing and water sports areas.  

How many of us can assert today that they never had an issue after bathing or practicing an activity in polluted waters? Today, water quality controls are deficient in Europe. Moreover, the risks associated with prolonged exposure to various types of environmental pollution are still unknown. In order to prepare the revision of the Directive on bathing waters, the European Commission is launching a European-wide citizen consultation: it is therefore time to act! 

Why is the European Commission consulting us today?  

The European Commission has set this Directive as part of its Zero Pollution action plan, which is related to the European Green Pact. This new growth strategy aims to protect, conserve and improve the EU’s natural capital as well as to protect citizens’ health and well-being against environmental-related risks and impacts.  

Based on current studies and results from the citizen consultation, a revision plan for the Directive on bathing water quality will be available in the year 2023.  

The consultation format 

This consultation includes every relevant stakeholder - citizens, civil society organizations, communities, industries, etc. It is organized in two main parts, and primarily consists in multiple choice questions. The first section aims to collect participants' views on bathing water quality and monitoring, as well as their general assessment on water quality management. The second part is more technical. It will focus on the European Directive itself, more precisely: its scope, its field application, its stakes and areas for improvement. 

Don’t worry, Surfrider will help you throughout the whole consultation process! 

Surfrider Foundation Europe has two major recommendations: firstly, extending water quality control to leisure and water sports areas and secondly, including new chemical, biological and physical parameters to better assess coastal water quality.

Surfrider Foundation Europe has analyzed the survey and provides you with a template of answers, in order to facilitate your participation, if necessary. To take part in the European consultation, all you need to do is to create an account on the European Commission’s website. Then, you can submit your answers before January 20, 2022. Responding to the survey will take you about twenty minutes but your answers are crucial to guarantee healthy European beaches and spots for the next 20 years!  

Find out everything you need to know about Surfrider Europe's actions on the Healthy Water campaign website page. You can also discover all of our recommendations within the Manifesto on bathing water quality.  

A huge thank you for your participation!  

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