The indicator assesses the soil loss by water erosion processes (rain splash, sheetwash and rills) and gives an indication of the area affected by a certain rate of soil erosion (severe soil loss, E > 10 tonnes/hectare/year). This area is expressed in km2 and as a percentage of the total non-artificial erosive area in the country. Where there is no area of land that is considered to be subject to soil erosion by water of more than 10 tonnes per hectare, a country will have a zero value. Soil erosion may still be occurring in areas of those countries, but at a rate of less than 10 tonnes per hectare. The data is from the Joint Research Centre soil datasets. The data currently comprises three reference years (2000, 2010 and 2012) and covers all EU-28 countries. The data is based on 5 main factors (soil erodibility, rainfall erosivity, topography, support practices and cover management). The erosion of soil by water is a natural process that is a part of the geological cycle. However, accelerated erosion can be caused by human activities and degrades the soil quality. Inappropriate agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing, forest fires and construction all contribute to the erodibility of soil. Runoff is the most important direct driver of severe soil erosion and so features of the landscape and the weather that influence runoff play an important role. Where the rate is above 1.4 tonnes per hectare per year the process may be irreversible in a time span of 50-100 years; where the rate is above 10 tonnes per hectare per year it is considered severe. There is no Directive regulating soil at present. A Soil Thematic Strategy has been adopted. A policy report on the implementation of the Strategy as well as the ongoing activities has been published. The Roadmap to a Resource efficient Europe sets the target that the area of land in the EU that is subject to soil erosion of more than 10 tonnes per hectare per year should be reduced by at least 25% by 2020.