Cyprus boasts the best bathing water quality in Europe, with an impressive 97.6% of its sites rated as excellent in 2023, according to the latest European Environment Agency (EEA) report.

This comprehensive report evaluated nearly 22,081 bathing water locations across the EU, revealing that 85% of these sites are classified as excellent, and 96% meet the minimum standards mandated by the Bathing Water Directive.

Coastal waters consistently outperformed inland waters, highlighting the success of stringent monitoring and management practices.

Despite the high standards, the report identified ongoing pollution challenges. Urban wastewater and agricultural runoff continue to degrade water quality. Additionally, climate change and increased heavy rainfall events exacerbate runoff pollution, posing significant risks.

In a broader European context, Austria, Croatia, and Greece joined Cyprus at the top, each with 95% or more of their bathing waters rated excellent. In contrast, countries like Albania, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, and Poland lagged, with less than 70% of their waters achieving the highest rating.

Poor-quality waters comprised 1.5% of the total, underscoring the need for improved pollution management. Persistent pollution issues in certain areas necessitate better identification and mitigation strategies.

The report also outlined various legislative measures supporting water quality protection in the EU, such as the Bathing Water Directive, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, and the Water Framework Directive.

The EEA report warns that climate change, especially increased heavy rainfall, could threaten these improvements. It stresses the importance of continued vigilance and adaptive strategies to preserve water quality across Europe.