EU Water Framework implementation strategy



European Commission, being aware of the differences in water economy level in particular Member States, decided to help with the WFD implementation.

In order to address the challenges in a coordinated way, Commission and the Member States agreed on a Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) for the Water Framework Directive.

There have been prepared guidance documents, which describe and define the key aspects of WFD in logic and understandable way. Respective topics were prepared by the working groups in charge.

During the process of drawing up own strategies of implementation, the Member States use guidance documents. Those guidebooks are crucial for international river basins, for which they are uniform initial base for necessary and desirable coordination of planned and accomplished activities taken on the common area of basins.

Guidance documents

The guidance documents that were published till year 2004, covered following topics:

  • Identification of water bodies

  • Water and economics

  • Pressure and impact assessment

  • Heavily transformed and artificial water bodies

  • Ecological classification of coastal and transitional waters

  • Estabilishement of the intercalibration network and the process on the intercalibration exercise

  • Monitoring

  • Geographical information systems – GIS

  • Public participation

  • Ecological classification of lakes and rivers

  • Planning process

  • Wetlands

Pilot river basins

European Commission tests the guidance documents to ensure their consistency, coherence and harmonisation. This testing exercise is being undertaken through an EU Pilot River Basin network, comprised of fifteen river basin projects across Europe. This number may change, similarly to the number of guidance documents.

Selected guidance documents are being tested on the area of mentioned basins, in real conditions.

The results of project are transferred to the European Commission, who assesses them and, if necessary, registers gained experiences in the guidance documents. In this way all the experiences may be used in all areas with similar water – economics issues.

Within the boundaries of Odra River Basin there is being implemented International Pilot Project of the Lusatian Neisse, which tests guidance documents concerning the following:

  • pressure and impact assessment,

  • setting up the referential conditions and class boundaries for ecological classification of surface water,

  • monitoring.