§ Mr. Wiggin
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the quality of UK(a) inland and (b) coastal water; and what research she has conducted on levels in other EU countries. 
§ Mr. Morley
Monitoring and assessment of inland and coastal waters in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and with respect to the devolved functions in Wales are matters for the Scottish Executive, the Northern Ireland Executive and the National Assembly for Wales.
In England, in 2002, the Environment Agency surveyed about 7,000 freshwater sites, representing 35,000 kilometres of rivers and canals, for their chemical quality and around 2,000 of these for biological quality. The results of this most recent assessment of inland water quality can be found on the Agency's website www.environment-agency.gov.uk from Tuesday 23 September 2003.
Our national monitoring programme provides regular data on the environmental quality of the marine environment, including coastal waters. A National Marine Monitoring Programme, consisting of 109 stations monitored by six agencies, has been set up to detect long-term trends in physical, biological and chemical variables at selected estuarine and coastal sites. In 2000, the OSPAR Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic produced a set of Quality Status Reports for the region, which evaluated the effectiveness of measures taken, 313W planned for the protection of the marine environment and set priorities for the region. This was agreed by all the contracting parties, including the UK. Other regional seas programmes have produced similar assessments for other European waters.
The UK participates fully in the activities of the European Environment Agency, which compiles and disseminates information for Europe on a wide range of environmental topics, including inland and coastal water quality, through its website, its Environmental Signals reports and other publications.
§ Mr. Wiggin
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the five(a) best and (b) worst performing regions of England in
Percentage of river lengths by grade for each region, 2002 Grade EA region Good (Grades A + B) Fair (Grades C + D) Poor (Grade E) Bad (Grade F) Good and Fair (Grades A + B + C + D) South West 83.2 14.0 2.6 0.2 97.2 Thames 67.8 27.7 4.5 0.0 95.5 Midlands 63.0 31.1 5.5 0.3 94.2 North East 67.6 25.6 6.1 0.8 93.1 Southern 43.5 48.4 8.1 0.0 91.9 Anglian 54.5 37.2 8.3 0.0 91.7 North West 62.0 29.4 7.7 0.7 91.5 England 65.5 28.3 5.8 0.4 93.8
The regions shown are Environment Agency regions. The Midlands and the North West regions cross the Welsh political border, however the overall England results do reflect the English political boundary.