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WFD Implementation Reports

The Commission has to assess the progress in the implementation of the WFD in certain intervals and to inform the European Parliament, the Council and the public about the results of its assessments (see Article 18 WFD).


The third implementation report – assessment of the River Basin Management Plans (2012)cover

In accordance with Article 18 (Water Framework Directive) the Commission must publish a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the implementation of this Directive at the latest by 22.12.2012. It has to include among other things a review of progress in the implementation of the Directive and a survey of the River Basin Management Plans submitted in accordance with Article 15, including suggestions for the improvement of future plans.

This 3rd WFD implementation report was adopted on 14/11/2012 and consists of the following documents:

  • A Commission report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive  - River Basin Management Plans (COM(2012)670 of 14.11.2012) (available in all EU languages).
  • A European Overview – Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the report: SWD(2012)379 Volume 1 and SWD(2012)379 Volume 2.
  • Country-specific assessments for EU Member States and Norway (Volumes 3-30)

    Translated versions of the Country-specific assessments may be found hereunder.

A lot of effort has been put into the preparation and drafting of the first RBMPs, and knowledge of the status of water has considerably improved. However, the Commission's assessment shows that more efforts are needed to ensure the achievement of the WFD objectives in the 2015, 2021 and 2027 planning cycles.

The assessment of the RBMPs indicates that progress towards the objective of good status by 2015 is expected, but it will not be achieved for a significant proportion of water bodies.  The main pressures on the water environment are hydromorphological pressures, pollution and over-abstraction. The chemical quality of water bodies has significantly improved in the last 30 years, but the situation as regards the priority substances listed in the WFD falls short of the objective.

A significant number of exemptions have been applied in the 1st RBMPs. The WFD requires Member States to justify and explain the reasons in the RBMPs, which is key for transparency and accountability of decision making.

Implementation should ensure that water management is based on a better understanding of the main risks and pressures in a river basin, founded on proper monitoring. This will result in cost-effective interventions to ensure the long-term sustainable supply of clean water for people, business and nature.

  • Related to these WFD implementation reports, a number of facts, figures and maps have been produced.
  • More background documentation and links to data reported is available here.  


The second implementation report : Monitoring networks

The second implementation report was published on 1 April 2009. It addresses the establishment of monitoring programmes for surface waters and groundwater (see Article 8 and Annex V WFD):

Related to these WFD implementation reports, a number of facts, figures and maps  were produced and made available.

On 2-3 April 2009, the Commission (DG Environment) organised the 2nd European Water Conference where more than 450 participants were discussing various aspects of river basin management including some of the results of the second implementation report. For more information see the conference website.


The first implementation report : 1st stage of implementation  of the Directive

The first implementation report was published on 22 March 2007. This report addresses three aspects: the transposition into national law, the set-up of administrative structures (Article 3 WFD) and the environmental and economic analysis of river basin districts (Article 5 WFD):

Related to these WFD implementation reports, a number of facts, figures and maps were produced and made available.

In addition, the Commission presented two implementation reports on related directives which are essential for the achievement of “good status” under the WFD:

Furthermore, a press release and a press memo are available.

On 22/23 March 2007, the Commission (DG Environment) organised a conference where more than 400 participants were discussing the first implementation report and the launch of the Water Information System for Europe (WISE). The material related to the European Water Conference 2007 is still available.