B3: State of the water environment

Part of The Outcome Indicator Framework, a comprehensive set of indicators describing environmental change that relates to the 10 goals within the 25 Year Environment Plan. The framework contains 66 indicators, arranged into 10 broad themes. The indicators are extensive; they cover natural capital assets (for example, land, freshwater, air and seas) and together they show the condition of these assets, the pressures acting upon them and the provision of services or benefits they provide.


B3: State of the water environment


This indicator takes a broad overview of the condition of the water environment; it relates to freshwater bodies, wetlands, groundwaters, estuaries and coastal waters. The indicator is composed of several metrics including: percentage of water tests meeting good (or better) Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2017 (the WFD regulations) status for ecology and chemistry, percentage of water bodies achieving good ecological status, and compliance of waters specially protected for specific uses such as drinking water abstraction and nature conservation. Some of these data relating to protected sites are also included in ‘D2 Extent and condition of protected sites – land, water and sea’. All the Water theme indicators are linked, but 2 indicators that are important to consider as part of the wider state of the water environment are: ‘B4 Condition of bathing waters’ and ‘B6 Natural functions of water and wetland ecosystems’.