On 22 December 2000, the EU adopted a "Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and the Council from 23 October 2000, which sets framework for common operation in the field of water policies" (hereinafter referred to as the Water Framework Directive or WFD). WFD is a breakthrough in the field of comprehensive, effective water protection in European Union, while being beneficial for both humans and nature. It puts in order, standarizes and joins the protection of all waters (groundwater, lakes, flowing water and transitional and coastal waters). An important environmental aim is to ensure that as many water bodies of the European Union as possible reached "good status" by the end of 2015. The main instrument for achieving environmental objectives, required in the WFD, is a water management plan. In accordance with Article 13 of the WFD, there should be developed (and considered binding) an international river basin management plan for the International Oder River Basin District by the end of 2009, agreed between the Convention Parties - Poland, the Czech Republic and Federal Republic of Germany. The road to adoption of this plan leads through three-stage consultation process, in which society can take an active part.
- since the end of December 2006 to the end of June 2007 there was published for public consultation a timetable and work plan concerning the WFD implementation on the International Oder River Basin Area.
- from the end of December 2007 to end of June 2008 there was published for public consultation the list of significant water management issues for the International Oder River Basin District.
- from the end of December 2008 to end of June 2009, there should be published for public consultation a draft water management plan for the International Oder River Basin District.
An agreement on the International Commission for the Protection of the Oder against Pollution, and other bilateral agreements listed in section II.9.4 of this water management plan, constitute legal and political framework for cooperation and cross-border activities in the field of water protection and water management on International Oder River Basin District.
Preparation and binding adoption of water management plan at the International Oder River Basin District should occur by the end of December 2009. Common Water Management Plan should provide information on the water status of all basin area and assemble all the required measures, whose implementation is necessary for water status improvement. Water Management Plan summarizes all the information in the field of water management, relevant to the International Oder River Basin District, explains the mode of acquisition and the existing gaps in required data and information and presents the economic aspects of the proposed action.
In accordance with Article 13 and Annex 6th of the WFD, the international water management plan for the International Oder River Basin District contains detailed information about the following topics:
- General characteristics of river basin area,
- Summary of significant anthropogenic pressures and impacts on water status,
- Identification and mapping of protected areas,
- Network monitoring and the results of monitoring programs,
- List of environmental objectives,
- Summary of economic analysis of water use,
- Summary of action plans,
- Summary of actions aimed at informing society and public consultation,
- List of competent authorities,
- Contact addresses for obtaining the output documents.
The following documents are of particular importance: the results of action programs with an evaluation of water bodies (Section 4), the list of environmental objectives and derogations related to these results (section 5), the assessment of reaching these goals probability, the expert assessment on the need for exceptions and action plans (which abstract is included in management plans) (section 7), necessary to achieve the objectives.
Water Management Plan for the International Oder River Basin Area should in particular facilitate the interregional and cross-sectoral coordination. It has a special significance, especially in communicating with each other all the water management activities within the frames of WFD implementation process towards the European Commission. The draft water management plan at the International Oder River Basin Area in the version submitted for public consultation should be treated as a temporary result of complex and comprehensive process. The submitted draft water management plan has been available for society to comment till the end of June 2009. In the near future it will be supplemented with the missing information, in particular in terms of clarification of certain figures and statistics, and the missing maps. The draft water management plan on the International Oder River Basin Area should be adjusted accordingly to the reported remarks and eventually published by the end of December 2009 as a binding water management plan.
The final version of WMP project is of synthetic, summarizing, and aggregated character and constitutes a comprehensive review of water management status and contains the list of actions required to achieve the environmental objectives within the whole area of International Oder River Basin Area. This synthetic document is consistent with the content of the national water management plans, developed for respective parts of the territories of Poland, the Czech Republic and Federal Republic of Germany, which form the international river basin area, and are compatible with any other water management plans in these three countries. Detailed information concerning water status and planned activities can be found in the national plans. These documents will be made available to the public for consultation by the competent authorities of individual countries, listed in the section II.10 of this WMP. All comments should be reported to the relevant institutions or to ICPO.