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While scarce, freshwater is a vital resource, representing our primary source of drinking water and providing habitats for a vast range of biodiversity. Worryingly, since 1970 there has been an 84% collapse in freshwater species populations globally, driven by habitat loss and pollution.
In Europe, water pollution remains a key issue 20 years after the adoption of the Water Framework Directive, with less than 40% of Europe’s rivers, lakes and streams in good chemical status. And yet, this does not tell the whole story: good chemical status under EU water law is assessed using a limited sub-set of pollutants present in water, while not taking into account the effects of chemical mixtures.
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