England’s waters to remain illegally polluted beyond 2021

Most English rivers, lakes, coastal and ground waters will still not be compliant with EU law by 2021, and improvement works will cost more than £25 billion

The EA is struggling to meet stringent EU standards. Photograph: Kevin Eaves/123RFMost rivers, lakes and coastal and ground waters in England will still not meet legally binding EU water pollution targets by 2021 -  six years after the initial deadline.

According to the Environment Agency’s (EA) draft river basin management plans (RBMPs), analysed by ENDS, compliance with Water Framework Directive (WFD) standards will have risen to just 25% in 2021, up from 17% in 2015 (see table 1). Table: Water bodies failing to meet overall 'good' ecological status by 2021

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