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The EU Water Framework Directive - integrated river basin management for Europe

The Commission's 3rd Implementation report on the Water Framework has been adopted – focus on  River Basin Management Plans 2009-2015. Full report, a European overview and Member State specific assessments and  Facts figures and maps !

Following extensive consultations on Water Framework Directive River Basin Management Plans should since 22.12.2009 be available in all River Basin Districts across the EU. Follow this link or click on the map to see the current status of adoption of river basin management plans in the different Member States.

Click here for RBMP status


On 23 October 2000, the "Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy" or, in short, the EU Water Framework Directive (or even shorter the WFD) was finally adopted.

The Directive was published in the Official Journal (OJ L 327) on 22 December 2000 and entered into force the same day. Some amendments have been introduced into the Directive since 2000, and you can download the consolidated version in all EU languages here.

However, even after reading the Directive, you may have still questions, such as: What is this Directive about? What do I need to know about the Directive? What is currently happening in relation to the Directive?

Twelve "Water notes" which intend to give an introduction and overview of key aspects of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive are available to download in all EU languages !

If you still have questions you will below find links to pages providing you with more detailed answers to these and other questions!

The subsequent pages intend to provide you with answers to these and other questions. You will find further information about the following issues:

General information


Specific legislation

  • Groundwater
    The Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC has been developed in response to the requirements of Article 17 of the Water Framework Directive
  • Strategy against chemical pollution of surface waters
  • Ecological Status
    The environmental objectives are the core of the Directive and the definition of “good ecological status” is essential. The intecalibration process is comparing the national classifications and Decision 2005/646/EC sets out a network of intercalibration sites. The results are expected to be published in late 2007.




European Water Conferences

2007 - First implementation report and launching of WISE

On 22/23 March 2007, the Commission (DG Environment) organised a conference where more than 400 participated 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 is still available.

2009 - Consultation on River Basin Management Plans across the EU - Plunge into the debate !

On 2/3 April 2009, the Commission (DG Environment) organises a confernce focussing on the public participation process. For more information please see :

More information

This website is, so far, only available in English. Additional information about European water policy in all Community languages can be found in the following leaflet and brochure:


If you have any questions about the EU Water Framework Directive or if you have any ideas about how to improve this site, please send us an email to the "Water Mailbox" of Environment DG.