Water Framework Directive
The water framework directive (FWD), referred to, in the administrative context, as Directive 2000/60/EC , is intended to provide the European Union with legislation on water, which is coherent in terms of protection and management of the resource in the context of sustainable development.
Objectives and principles of the water framework directive
This directive defines the quality targets for preserving and restoring the state of surface water (fresh and coastal) and ground water. Thus, this water must be in a good ecological and chemical condition by 2015.
Beyond this objective, the FWD institutes five major management principles:
- management by drainage basin;
- establishment of target water body;
- an economic analysis of the price of water with the including of environmental costs;
- a method of governance that supports the involvement of the public and transparency;
- planning and programming with deadlines and a specific working method.
Applications of the FWD
This working method consists of listing water bodies and identifying their problems in an inventory, then implementing a management plan with environmental objectives that must be reached using a programme of actions. A monitoring programme must ensure progress is made towards the defined targets before the procedure is renewed every 6 years.
In France, the FWD was enacted into French law in 2006 by the water and aquatic environments Act (LEMA, or 'loi sur l'eau et les milieux aquatiques' in French). This resulted in the creation of strategic plans for water management and development (SDAGE, or 'schémas directeurs d'aménagement et de gestion des eaux'), and the creation of the National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA, or 'l'Office national de l'eau et des milieux aquatiques'), which is in charge, amongst other things, of monitoring bodies ofwater.
The Water Framework Directive must ensure that all European bodies of water reach a good condition by 2015. © Totodu74, Wikimedia public domain
Water Framework Directive - 1 Photo