The European Union Water Framework Directive

Water Framework Directive

With the changes in the economy and structure of the EU, industry modernization is seen happening at a rapid rate. Countries of the basin are strongly involved in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

Economic as well as environmental / ecological interests are at stake, so river basin management will have to consider both types of interest. Priorities include developing plans and taking measures to reduce the pressures on the environment, from agriculture, industrial manufacturing, transportation, as well as tourism.

The Directive works to ensure cleaner, non-polluted rivers and water supply. It focuses on water purification, maintenance, and protection from contamination and pollution. This involves calling attention to overuse of water resources, and any unsanitary practices that would result in toxic and sully waterways.

It also entails assessing this phenomena on the international level; better understanding the erosion and sedimentation processes at the catchment scale, and; providing stakeholders with guidelines for a better management of risks associated to these processes.

It urges for a stronger and more dependent collaboration between industry and municipalities so as to treat industrial wastewater more efficiently and with the full use of the existent municipal wastewater treatment plants, without compromising the surrounding ecosystem. It also draws attention to the safety management: flooding, pollution, and the possible damage to the habitat as a result of meteorological, or geological changes.

Economic development and dense urbanization contribute to soil sealing in the basin, which has a direct impact on the retention of water, and consequently, flooding.

All economic activities should focus on environmentally sound practices in order to help better manage the basin's ecosystem.