HC Deb 20 December 1995 vol 268 cc1234-5W
Mr. Callaghan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of rivers in England is in good or fair condition and what is the European average. [7005]

Mr. Clappison

The recent Dobris report prepared by the European Environment Agency on the state of the pan-European environment includes estimates of the percentage of river length in various European countries which, on the basis of the definitions given in the report, can be described as of good or fair quality. These definitions do not necessarily correspond to those used in individual countries.

The report includes data in respect of 12 European Union countries, including Scotland and Northern Ireland, and 10 other European states. The table provides a comparison, as a percentage of river length, between the data for England and Wales and, respectively, the average for the European Union countries and for all the countries for which data are provided.

Good Fair
England and Wales 65 23
European Union 43 36
All countries 34 43