What is surface water?
According to the EU Water Framework Directive, surface water includes inland water bodies, except for groundwater; transitional waters and coastal waters, and, concerning chemical status, also territorial waters.
We may classify surface water as follows:
- Inland surface waters: it includes still or moving water bodies above ground.
- Transitional waters: bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.
- Coastal waters: surface water on the landward side of a line, every point of which is at a distance of one nautical mile on the seaward side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured, extending where appropriate up to the outer limit of transitional waters.
Surface water protection is regulated in the EU by the Water Framework Directive, Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000. establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.