European information gateway to water issues

About WISE

The Water Information System for Europe (WISE) is a partnership between the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

WISE was launched in 2007 providing a web-portal entry to water related information ranging from inland waters to marine.

Over the years WISE has been improved and updated to respond to the user needs and be timely aligned with the European water policies requirements.

WISE addresses several user groups.

For users from EU institutions or other environmental national, regional and local administrations WISE provides input to thematic assessments in the context of EU water related policies.

For water professionals and scientists WISE facilitates access to reference documents and thematic data, which can be downloaded for further analyses.

For the general public, including private or public entities, WISE illustrates a wide span of water related information through interactive maps, charts and indicators.

Any feedback and request of information is welcomed, please write to:

1. Introduction

WISE is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the EEA, which have a mandate in freshwater and marine legislation and knowledge at European level. WISE has two main components, freshwater and marine environment. An introduction is provided here:

The personal data collected by the European WISE portal are processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data [1]. Collection and processing of data are under the responsibility of the European Environment Agency (EEA), NCE2 - Water and Marine Head of Group (NCE - Natural Capital and Ecosystems Programme), acting as Data Controller. WISE Data processor is the external contractor, in charge of the development of the WISE portal.

2. What personal information we collect and for what purpose

In the context of the WISE portal, we are not collecting and publishing personal data. We collect personal information only when we create an account in the Eionet User Directory (Eionet account) to authorise experts that might directly contribute to the WISE web content. Please see the privacy statement of the Eionet website[2] for details on the Eionet User Directory.

For generic WISE visitors, as personal data we only process: IP-addresses, browser versions and other devices information (i.e. transactional data) that are necessary to securely deliver web pages to the internet client. These transactional data are also processed by the personnel at CERT-EU ( which provides security services for EEA and available to the EEA’s Internet Service Provider ( and cloud provider Amazon in EU, therefore for them, their privacy policy applies.

WISE visitors can request information about WISE, providing feedback and reporting bugs by sending an email at:; this email is accessible and managed by authorised staff composed by the EEA Eionet helpdesk staff and the WISE administrators via the EIONET Help Desk system (OTRS). Authorised staff can directly reply and solve a request, forward it to the EEA or ETC/ICM experts that can also reply, close the ticket of a request and prepare the annual anonymised statistics about the type of requests. We do not store personal data in cookies. By default, the browsing experience of WISE visitors is tracked by the EEA Matomo[3] software in order to produce anonymised statistics. For example, EEA staff may collect some data on browsing experience such as masked IP address[4] (anonymized by removing the last two bytes), the web pages visited by a user, the website page an user were redirected from. The statistics aims at improving WISE portal and the browsing experience. The analytical reports generated by the EEA Matomo can only be accessed through the Eionet Directory authentication system by EEA staff, other relevant EU institutions’ staff or by duly authorised external contractors, who may be required to analyse, develop and/or regularly maintain WISE. By default, EEA software Matomo installation respects users’ preferences and do not track visitors which have specified "I do not want to be tracked" in their web browsers (aka "Do not track").

3. How long personal data are stored

Transactional data (security logs) are stored for a maximum of 1 year for security audit purposes unless there is an individual reason to keep information for a longer period of time (e.g. when individual IP addresses are blocked if part of a DoS-attack).

4. How to contact EEA and right to appeal

WISE users may contact the EEA’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) in case of any enquiry relating to the processing of personal data at the following email address: WISE users are entitled to have recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor (; if they consider that the rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 have been infringed as a result of the processing of personal data by the EEA

Please also see:

[1] OJ L 295/39 of 21.11.2018. [2] [3] Matomo is an open-source and privacy-oriented web analytics software. The term "EEA Matomo" refers to our installation, managed directly by EEA Staff and installed within EEA/EU. [4] Masking of IP addresses. Institution, city and country origin are determined from the full IP, then stored and aggregated before a mask is applied. EEA Matomo uses an IP de-identification mechanism that automatically masks a portion of each visitor's IP (Internet Protocol), effectively making it impossible to identify a particular website visitor via the sole IP address.