This report is intended to give ministers, senior civil servants, other policy-makers and others with an interest to protect our waters a broad overview of the major water issues in Europe. It represents a distillation of the work undertaken by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its European Topic Centre for Inland Waters (ETC/IW).
The report provides, for each issue, a summary of our scientific and technical knowledge of the problem, an analysis of its causes, an indication of the actions taken and their effects, and an assessment of what further needs to be done. It is written for the non-scientist and, to help readers gain the maximum of relevant information in the most efficient way, much of the content is provided in colour-coded text boxes. There are three types of box:
1. Yellow boxes give key messages, summaries, and information.
2. Red boxes give cautions, warnings of what we should be concerned about.
3. Green boxes give statistical and supporting information.
The report also contains plain text and a number of graphs, giving other statistical and supporting information. Some of these may be referenced from colour-coded boxes.