Catchment News

European Commission launches online public consultation on the revision of the Bathing Water Directive

With this public consultation, the European Commission would like to hear your opinions on the Bathing Water Directive, notably concerning possible shortcomings and issues of emerging concerns both for citizens, health and the environment.

Since the 1970s, the EU has rules in place to safeguard clean bathing waters. These rules were updated and simplified through the 2006 Bathing Water Directive which, according to the annual reports on the quality of the bathing water, is generally well implemented by Member States. Nevertheless, experience from best practices in some Member States, as well as latest scientific and technological developments point to some areas for possible improvement.

Also in light of the European Green Deal, the Directive needs to align with new environmental and climate ambitions. Your views will feed into the evaluation and impact assessment that will constitute the evidence base for a possible revision of the Directive.

Target Audience

All citizens and stakeholders are welcome to express their views.

More specifically, respondents involved in or affected by the implementation of the bathing water directive: identification of bathing sites and/or monitoring and management of bathing sites and bathing water quality.

This would include: EU Member States and their public authorities at national, regional and local level; economic actors such as associations and companies (tourism sector representatives, bathing site operators); water associations at European, national and regional level; international organisations, NGOs, academia, research and innovation organisations and institutes.

Responding to this public consultation

Full details and a link for you to take part in the online survey are on the EU Commission website: Bathing water quality – review of EU rules (

This consultation closes on 20 January 2022 (midnight Brussels time).

Learn more: has information on bathing water quality during the bathing season, which runs from 1 June to 15 September annually.

The EPA publishes annual bathing water quality reports. The latest report is Bathing Water Quality in Ireland 2020

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.