Good-quality water in Europe (EU Water Directive)

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2000/60/EC – framework for Community action in the field of water policy

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

It sets out rules to halt deterioration in the status of European Union (EU) water bodies and achieve ‘good status’ for Europe's rivers, lakes and groundwater by 2015.

Specifically, this includes:

KEY POINTS

The legislation places clear responsibilities on national authorities. They have to:

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

It has applied since 22 October 2000. EU countries had to incorporate it into national law by 22 December 2003.

BACKGROUND

In the European Union (EU), water is coming under increasing pressure from the continuous growth in demand for sufficient quantities of good-quality water for a whole range of uses. This directive seeks to protect and improve the quality of water.

* KEY TERMS

Surface water: all inland water except groundwater, transitional or coastal waters.

Groundwater: all water below ground surface.

Inland water: all standing or flowing water on the land’s surface.

Transitional waters: waters near river mouths, which are partly saline but contain substantial flows of freshwater.

MAIN DOCUMENT

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 (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, pp. 1–73)

Successive amendments to Directive 2000/60/EC have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (OJ L 372, 27.12.2006, pp. 19-31)

See consolidated version

Directive 2007/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks (OJ L 288, 6.11.2007, pp. 27-34)

Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 348, 24.12.2008, pp. 84-97)

See consolidated version

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions — A blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources (COM(2012) 673 final, 14.11.2012)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council — The Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive: actions towards the ‘good status’ of EU water and to reduce flood risks (COM(2015) 120 final, 9.3.2015)

last update 13.02.2017