Surface water is water that is collected from streams. rivers and lakes.
The Water Framework Directive, Directive 2000/60/EC, was adopted in 2000 as a single piece of legislation covering rivers, lakes, groundwater and transitional (estuarine) and coastal waters and includes heavily modified and artificial waterbodies.
The objectives of the directive are to prevent further deterioration of and to protect, enhance and restore the status of all bodies of water with the aim of achieving at least good status by 2015.
The EU Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) was also introduced to improve the quality of water in rivers and lakes. This had a major impact on high nitrate levels in waters due to agricultural activities. It helps to protect the water bodies from such contamination.