The Environment Agency has used its bathing water quality monitoring data from 2003 to 2006 to assess the compliance rate that might be expected in England under the revised Bathing Water Directive (see following table). These predictions are made on the assumption that no further action is taken to improve bathing water quality between now and when the first classifications under the revised Bathing Water Directive are expected to be made at the end of the 2015 bathing season. However, measures will continue to be taken in the catchments of some bathing waters to ensure they comply with the requirements of both the current and revised Bathing Water Directives.
The following table shows the percentage of bathing waters expected to be classified as (a) poor, (b) sufficient, (c) good and (d) excellent by 2015.
Classification Percentage of bathing waters Excellent 52 Good 27 Sufficient 13 Poor 08 Total 100
Percentage of bathing waters
DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government have recently launched a public consultation, including a partial impact assessment which sets out the costs associated with the implementation of the revised Bathing Water Directive (rBWD) in England and Wales. The Government are seeking views on three possible implementation scenarios. Scenarios 1A and 1B simply aim to meet the minimum requirements of the rBWD, with all bathing waters achieving at least the ‘sufficient’ classification by 2015 (Scenario 1B makes use of a prediction and discounting system) and Scenario 2 explores the costs of going beyond the minimum rBWD requirements by aiming to increase the number of ‘excellent’ bathing waters in England and Wales. The estimated cost to business (e.g. water companies, farmers and other parties) associated with each scenario is as follows:
Scenario Annual Total (PV) (25 years) 1A 6.8-10 107-171 1B 4.3-6.9 65-121 2 111.6-17.6 1206-380 1 Includes scenario 1A costs
Total (PV) (25 years)
1 Includes scenario 1A costs
The Government are not proposing to exempt any designated bathing waters from meeting the ‘sufficient’ classification under the revised Bathing Water Directive (rBWD), since they expect that all bathing waters will achieve the ‘sufficient’ classification by the end of the 2015 bathing season (following the introduction of measures to improve water quality in the catchments of bathing waters currently predicted to be classified as ‘poor’). The Government would only consider using the Article 5(4) provision to temporarily classify a bathing water as ‘poor’ and still remain in compliance with the rBWD if unforeseen circumstances arise near to 2015.