Policy & Legislation: Water Frameworks Directive
Policy & Legislation: Water Frameworks Directive.
In 2012 for example, 25,524 European citizens aged 15 and above were interviewed by telephone , at the request of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment to gauge public opinion on issues relating to water conservation and to establish whether awareness of water issues had improved over time (WWW1).
The Water Frameworks Directive is unique in that it establishes a framework for the protection of all waters and their dependent wildlife/habitats under one piece of environmental legislation (WWW3).
The Water Frameworks Directive aims to : protect/enhance all waters (surface, ground and coastal waters) achieve “good status” for all waters by December 2015 manage water bodies based on river basins (or catchments) involve the public streamline legislation The Birds, Habitats, and Nitrates Directives, along with regulations on drinking water, bathing waters, and urban waste are all key factors within the Water Frameworks Directive, as well as the Marine Strategy Frameworks Directive.
A major requirement of Member States within the Water Frameworks Directive is the preparation of River Basin Management Plans, comprised of three, five year planning cycles.
Ireland is currently within the second of these planning cycles.
1st Cycle River Basin Management Plans: 2009-2014 2nd Cycle River Basin Management Plans: 2015-2021 These plans are laid out with the goal of achieving Good Ecological Status of all waters.
Ireland will begin its second cycle in 2017, but is currently 2 years behind schedule and so the next cycle will last 4 years rather than 5.
Mr. Simon Coveney T.D.
Additionally, 73% of Irish rivers have been classified as “unpolluted” as of the last cycle, which is comparatively better than that of most other European countries.