Water Framework Directive & River Basin Management Plan

What is Water Framework Directive?

On 23 October 2000, the “Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy” (EU Water Framework Directive, WFD) was adopted.

The WFD has been the most substantial piece of the European Commission´s water legislation so far. It improves and integrates the way water bodies are managed throughout Europe.

The WFD provides a comprehensive view of aquatic ecosystems and water management with the overall objective to achieve a good status in all water bodies. It deals with surface water and groundwater.

The Directive is a framework that establishes the conditions to encourage efficient water protection at the local level. It provides a common approach and common objectives. It is up to each EU member state to reach the specific goals.

What is the River Basin Management Plan?

River Basin Management Plans include an integrated approach to the protection, improvement and sustainable management of the water environment. Every six years, a revised river basin management plan is developed according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Serbia is faced with the task of drafting a current version of its river basin management plan. The WFD requires Serbia to strive to achieve at least good status in each water body within its river basin districts. It is an obligation for Serbia to produce a plan for each of the river basin districts.

Among others, the management plan should cover the following elements:

General description of characteristics of the river basin districts (mapping of location and boundaries of surface water and groundwater bodies),

Significant pressures and impact of human activity on water status,

Identification and mapping of protected areas – drinking water areas, areas for economically significant aquatic species, nutrient-sensitive areas, nature protection areas,

Map of established monitoring networks and results of finalised monitoring programmes,

Summary of measures to meet the environmental objectives,

Measures for applying the principle of costs recovery for water use,

Summary of economic analysis of water use measures taken to prevent or reduce impacts of pollution incidents,

Public information and consultation measures including their results and consequences.