European Union Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC)

From WaterWiki.net

Revision as of 12:08, 15 December 2010 by Katy.norman (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ←Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision→ (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
edit  ·  Toolkit Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to Water Governance
UNDP Regional HRBA to Water Programme for Europe & CIS

Detailed documentation: Background | Regional aspects | Regional Programme | Methodology
PHASE 1: Checklist (Bosnia and Herzegovina | Georgia | Moldova | Tajikistan | Turkey | Ukraine)
PHASE 2: Country Sector Assessments and Proposed Projects (Bosnia and Herzegovina | Tajikistan | Kosovo | Serbia) | Bibliography

Legal Framework: The Rights to Water and Sanitation in International Law | Regional Law | National Law
WaterWiki-resources:Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Handbook for Activists | UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Water and Sanitation | UN Recognises Access to Clean Water as a Basic Human Right | Human Rights-Based Approach | Applying a HRBA to Water:A Case Study | Water-related Legislation and Conventions | The Right to Water - WHO Publication | A UN Convention on the Right to Water - An Idea Whose Time Has Come | International Conference on the Right to Water and Sanitation in Theory and Practice | Q&A: The Right to Water | General Comment 15 (2002) | Q&A: Water Governance | Water and Health | Equitable Access to Water and Human Rights | European Union Water Framework Directive | Essay: What exactly is “The Right to Water”? | Protocol on Water and Health | Protocol on Water and Health/Q&A | Lessons Learned From Rights-Based Approaches in the Asia-Pacific Region | Human Rights-Based Approach Strategies adopted by UNICEF Laos | Utility Privatisation through the Lens of Human Rights | The Right to Water - From Concept to Implementation | The Human Right to Water:Translating Theory into Practice | Report of the Seminar on Human Rights and MDGs, May 2009
External resources: HRBA and Water Governance Fast Facts - UNDP | Applying a HRBA to Developing Cooperation and Programming (UNDP, 2006) | COHRE Manual on the Right to Water and Sanitation | Protocol on Water and Health - Full Document) | COHRE Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Water: A Framework for Developing Indicators | Sub-commission guidelines for the realisation of the right to drinking water and sanitation (2005) | UNFPA - A HRBA to Programming, Practical Implementation Manual and Training Materials (2010) | Operational Guidelines for Implementing a Rights-Based Approach in Water and Sanitation Programming (CoHRE,2008) | COHRE Monitoring Implementation of the Right to Water: A Framework for Developing Indicators | FAQs on a HRBA to Development Cooperation | The Human Rights-Based Approach to Development - The Right to Water | UN Independent Expert Report on the issue of human rights obligations related to water and sanitation 2009 | UN Independent Expert Report on MDGs and right to water and sanitation 2010
Websites: The Rights to Water and Sanitation Information Portal | UN Independent Expert on Right to Water and Sanitation Webpage

The Water Framework Directive creates a legal framework for the protection and restoration of clean waters across the European Union (the official title is Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy). The Directive, which entered into force in December 2000, provides common principles, approaches and requirements for water management in the European Union; it also leaves broad leeway for Member State individual approaches.

The Directive addresses EU surface waters, including coastal waters, as well as groundwater. By 2015, Member States are to achieve "good water status", a term that incorporates both chemical parameters (i.e. low pollution levels) as well as ecological ones (healthy ecosystems).

Under the Directive, water management is based on River Basins. EU Member States set up river basin districts and designate the administrative unit for each district: in many Member States, these are water councils. Where a river basin includes more than one Member State or crosses from the EU to neighboring countries, the Directive calls for the creation of an international river basin district. Both national and international districts should prepare management plans by 2009, and these provide a form of IWRM planning.


OLD VERSION
The EU Water Framework Directive [Directive (2000/60/EC)] was approved by the European Parliament and Council in September 2000 and came into force on 22nd December 2000. The Directive, generally known as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a piece of legislation to protect and improve the water quality all inland and coastal water-bodies in Europe. A key aspect of the Directive is the involvement of river basin councils in the sustainable management of water bodies.


Contents

Water Framework Directive

The aim of the 2000 Water Framework Directive [1](WFD) is to achieve good water status (a term that incorporates both chemical parameters (i.e. low pollution levels) as well as ecological ones (healthy ecosystems)) for all waters (inland, coastal and river) across the European by 2015. The Directive also aims to ensure clean waters are kept clean.


The Directive entered into force in December 2000. It provides common principles, approaches and requirements for water management in the European Union; it also leaves broad leeway for Member State individual approaches.

In particular the Water Framework Directive:

i. provides a legal framework for managing ground- and surface-water;

ii. aims to ensure that the environmental costs of supplying water are included in the water price;

iii. entails an obligation on Member States to explain decisions taken on water management including planning, requiring them to draft ‘river-management plans’ iv. allows for far-reaching public scrutinizing of for example local authorities’ plans to build dams etc.

In achieving these objectives, the roles of citizens and citizens' groups will be crucial. This is highlighted by the setting up of the Water Information System for Europe – or WISE. It is a web portal which provides the public with information on water and water-related topics. The portal is a collaborative effort between the European Environment Agency and the European Commission.

Furthermore the framework directive on water advocates a boosting of the part played by pricing in order to improve the sustainability of water resources. It promotes the use of pricing and taxation as an incentive for consumers to use water resources in a more sustainable manner and to recover the cost of water services per sector of the economy as the sustainability of water resources is threatened in several of Europe's regions. The use of economic instruments is also recognised at Community level. The Treaty considers that, in particular, the "polluter pays" principle is an underlying principle of European environmental policies.

Under the Directive, water management is based on river basins. EU Member States set up river basin districts and designate the administrative unit for each district: in many Member States, these are water councils. Where a river basin includes more than one Member State or crosses from the EU to neighbouring countries, the Directive calls for the creation of an international river basin district. Both national and international districts should prepare management plans by 2009, and these provide a form of IWRM planning.

Human rights-based approaches in the Directive

The Directive includes some wording related to human rights. Its recital to the Directive states that:

"Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such"


Another recital calls for public participation in decisions on plans and measures for river basin management.

At the same time, the Directive places a strong emphasis on cost recovery. Its Article 9 states that EU countries “shall take account of the principle of recovery of the costs of water services”. Economic analyses should be carried out to ensure adequate contributions by different classes of users, including households. The article does, however, note that Member States can take into account “social, environmental and economic effects” of cost recovery.

Related legislation

The Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC of 23 October 2000 [2] is a central element in EU water legislation.

A number of other directives form part of the European Union's policy on water:

• Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive [3] 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning discharges of municipal and some industrial waste waters;

• Nitrates Directive [4] 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources of 12 December 1991;

• Drinking Water Directive [5] 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 concerning potable water quality;

• Bathing Water Directive [6] 2006/7/EC of 15 February 2006;

• Protection of groundwater Directive [7] 2006/118/EC of 12 December 2006;

• Flood Risks Directive [8] 2007/60/EC of 23 October 2007.


The European Commission has proposed a Marine Strategy Directive [9] that would require the attainment of good status of the European Union’s marine areas, following a similar approach to the Water Framework Directive.

International cooperation

Under the Water Framework Directive, EU Member States should cooperate with neighbouring countries on shared river basins. The Danube provides the strongest example of this cooperation: the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River acts as the umbrella body for the Directive’s implementation across the 10 EU countries and 8 non-EU countries in the Danube river basin.

Upcoming and past events

  • Targeting North-Eastern border of the EU: Debe (Poland), 18/19 October 2005, at the invitation of the Government of Poland and the European Commission (for the information notice click here).
  • WFD Workshop targeting South-Eastern Europe will be held in Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro) at the beginning of 2006, at the invitation of the Government of Italy.

Further Readings - References - Links

Water-related Legislation and Conventions

Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes

Workshop on the Lake Skadar International Designation for Territorial Development

Water Framework Directive on the DEFRA, UK site

Water Framework Directive on the EU website

More useful links:

The latest edition (Issue no. 4, Dec 2006) of the WFD Newsletter by the European Commission:  Wfd newsletter Dec 2006.pdf

Links and further readings

International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River

Member State reports under Article 3 (designation of River Basin Districts) and Article 5 (analysis of River Basin District conditions

Technical guidance documents for the implementation of the Directive

WISE portal for water information (jointly operated by the European Commission and EEA)

Source(s)

Water Framework Directive on the EU website

WFD in Ireland

615 Rating: 2.4/5 (54 votes cast)