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Transposition and Reporting - progress in the Member States

The Water Framework Directive provides for a number of deadlines by which Member States have to fulfill particular obligations and report the achievement to the European Commission. The key reporting obligations in the Directive are summarized below (Note: this list is not complete and the dates and details should be verified in the Directive):

22 December 2003 : Legal transposition into national legislation (for the 10 new Member States, the date was 1 May 2004 )

22 June 2004 : Reporting of river basin districts and competent authorities (Article 3 report)

The river basin district is the main unit for management of river basins and it is the scale of planning foreseen in the Directive. The contents of the report to the Commission are specified in Annex I of the Directive and include, apart from the geographical coverage of the river basin district, the name, address and legal status of the competent authority, its responsibilities, membership in case of acting as coordinating body for other competent authorities and a summary of the international relationship in case of international river basin districts. On the basis of the available submissions by Member States, the European Commission has produced a river basin district map and other thematic maps.

22 March 2005 : Reporting on characterisation of the river basin district and analysis on pressures, impacts and water uses (Article 5 report)

According to Article 5 of the Water Framework Directive all member states had to complete, by the end of 2004, a detailed analysis of the characteristics of their river basin districts, including a review of the pressures and impacts of the human activity on surface and groundwater, and an economic analysis of the use of water. The results of these analysis serve as a starting point and a source of information on which the River Basin Management Plans and the Programme of Measures will be built upon. A summary of such reports should be reported to the Commission by 22 March 2005 . You can find more information on the characterisation work in the following document elaborated under the CIS:

All Article 3 and Article 5 reports received to date are publicly available on the WFD CIRCA information system:

The Commission has prepared a first implementation report which was presented on 22 March 2007. The report assesses the Member States’ progress on the three obligations mentioned above. Related to the report, the Commission published a number of facts, figures and maps.

22 March 2007 : Reporting of monitoring programmes

According to Article 8, Member States had to establish monitoring programmes which needed to be operational by 22 December 2006. According to Article 15, the report to the Commission was due on 22 March 2007. In setting up the Water Information System for Europe (WISE), it was agreed that this report should be the first which would only be submitted electronically. Member States are submitting their reports through the REPORTNET facility of the EEA. The Commission will present a summary and an assessment of the monitoring programmes in 2009 at the latest.

22 March 2010 : Reporting of River Basin Management Plan including programme of measures

In order to monitor and inform about how well Member States follow the reporting obligations, as outlined above, an informal WFD scoreboard has been developed.


In order to improve access to environmental information and the availability of reports, the European Commission (DG Environment, Joint Research Centre and Eurostat) and the European Environment Agency is currently developing an electronic data and information system on water called WISE (Water Information System for Europe). The concept for the development of such a system is laid down in the following document:

Reporting guidance documents have been developed and have formed the basis for developing the electronic submission tools under WISE. Several reporting guidance or reporting sheets are available.

WISE is now being implemented step-by-step. The public portal of WISE is available since March 2007. In addition to the work on the WFD, WISE will also incorporate reporting from other data sources. A more detailed roadmap for the development of WISE is available with the WISE Implementation Plan 2006-2010en (pdf ~483KB).

Practical information on WISE and GIS issues, in particular for data providers, was provided on the several WISE user workshops.