Securing Clean and Healthy Rivers | WWF
Securing Clean and Healthy Rivers

Posted on 09 April 2015

The Water Framework Directive's objective of achieving Good Ecological Status of waters by 2015 will be missed. Member States are preparing their plans for the period 2016-2021. WWF has analysed the draft plans and presented its recommendation to ensure that Europe's water will be better managed and protected in the future.
Most recently the European Environment Agency (EEA) concluded that Europe is far from meeting water policy objectives and healthy aquatic ecosystems.  

The adoption of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in 2000 has led to improvement in management and protection of European water ecosystems, but the WFD objective of achieving Good Status (both good ecological and chemical status) of waters by 2015 will be missed.

The preparation of the second cycle River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) covering the 2016-2021 period represents a great opportunity to increase the ambition of the EU in water management through the adoption of stringent and concrete measures to deal with pressures, effective policy integration and public participation, preventing further deterioration within European waters and achieving the aim of Good Status by 2021.

WWF offices  across selected Member States have reviewed the first assessments of the draft plans, which are currently undergoing public consultation.

The current briefing includes WWF's analysis and recommnedations. WWF believes that correct implementation of the Water Directive is still possible across Europe, if Member States assume their obligation and responsibility to bring EU waters to good health by improving the plans before their final adoption; this will secure continued provision of ecosystem services and healthy future for our society and economy to thrive.

For further information:
Martina Mlinaric, Senior Policy Officer Biodiversity and Water, t. +32 2 740 09 23
Aquatic vegetation on the Danube. Danube Delta, Romania
© Michel Gunther