Ecological status is an assessment of the quality of the structure and functioning of surface water ecosystems. It shows the influence of pressures (e.g. pollution and habitat degradation) on the identified quality elements. Ecological status is determined for each of the freshwater surface water bodies (rivers and lakes), based on biological quality elements and supported by physico-chemical and hydromorphological quality elements. The overall ecological status classification for a water body is determined, according to the ‘one out, all out’ principle, by the element with the worst status out of all the biological and supporting quality elements.

The dashboards below provide an overview of the different results related to ecological status. Further dashboards and items are available in the WISE Freshwater resource catalogue.

Caution is advised when comparing Member States and when comparing the first and second RBMPs, as the results are affected by the methods Member States have used to collect data and often cannot be compared directly.


Further information is provided in a Draft guide to dashboards on delineation of water bodies, in chapter 1 of the EEA report European waters – assessment of status and pressures 2018, and section 2.2 Characterisation of surface waters of the WFD 2016 reporting guidance.