Navigation path

High level navigation

Page navigation

Additional tools

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text


What's new ?

  • Provisional agreement Drinking Water
  • Fitness Check of the EU Water Legislation published
    Read more here.
  • European Innovation Partnership on Water
    Read the November 2019 Newsletter to find out more about the EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 taking place on 11-13 December in Zaragoza, Spain. The theme of the Conference is “Accelerating action to tackle water pollution and enhance EU preparedness to water-related climate change impacts”. Attendance is free of charge. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, 4 December 2019.


  • The EU Water Innovation Conference 2019 will take place on 12 December 2019 in Zaragoza, Spain. Click here for more information, for-free registration and if you wish to organise a side-meeting back to back to the conference.
  • On 11 March 2019, the Commission adopted a strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment, as required by Article 8c of Directive 2008/105/EC as amended by Directive 2013/39/EU. Read more here.
  • The Commission has published its fifth Implementation Report assessing the progress on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive.
  • The 5th European Water Conference took place in Vienna on 20-21 September 2018. The Conference was organised by the Commission and the Austrian EU Presidency with the aim to present and discuss progress on the implementation of EU water legislation. More information: Conference Website.
  • An online public consultation was launched on 17 September 2018, covering both the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive. This consultation is available in all EU official languages
  • EIP Water: Call for hosting the fifth European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water Conference in 2019. Deadline for applications: 14 September 2018.
    More information on EIP Water website.
  • The Commission has launched the Fitness Check covering a large part of the EU Water Legislation. The aim is to assess whether the current regulatory framework for a policy sector is “fit for purpose” as per the Better Regulation Guidelines. The goal is to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value of EU Water Legislation, thus promoting better/smarter legislation, making it more responsive to current and future challenges as well as helping improve implementation. More information here.
  • The Commission has launched the updated “peer-to-peer process support for the improvement of Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Floods Directive (FD) implementation”, which will run for two years. The aim of this initiative is to support a direct exchange between experts and Competent Authorities in charge of River Basin Management Plans and Flood Risk Management Plans. All material related to the project can be found on the website:

  • 01/02/2018: Proposal for a revised drinking water directive adopted

  • 31/01/2018: European Innovation Partnership on Water - January 2018 newsletter

  • EU water policy infographics

    News Archive


Water is life. It is a precondition for human, animal and plant life as well as an indispensable resource for the economy. Water also plays a fundamental role in the climate regulation cycle.

Protection of water resources, of fresh and salt water ecosystems and of the water we drink and bathe in is therefore one of the cornerstones of environmental protection in Europe. The stakes are high, the issues transcend national boundaries, and concerted action at the level of the EU is necessary to ensure effective protection.

The Water Framework Directive - what is it all about and how does it link to other water policies?

Since 2001 a Common Implementation Strategy has been in operation, bringing together national experts, stakeholders and the Commission involved initially in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, and then later in the implementation of the Floods Directive as well. Learn more about the outcomes of this process through the Guidance Documents produced. The CIS Thematic Information Sheets also provide a wealth of information on a variety of subjects.

In addition, the following publications are available:

Water Framework Directive (WFD): Status of adoption of the River Basin Management Plans

Click here for RBMP status
Click here for progress on implementation in each  Member State






Integration of the Water Framework Directive in other policies

To speed up the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, water concerns must be better taken into account in other EU policies and funding mechanisms (a recommendation following the Blueprint in 2012). This will help reach the Directive's objectives of good water status. The European Commission is working closely with Member States and stakeholders to achieve a better integration of the Water Framework Directive with other EU policies .
Operational and rural development programmes for 2014-2020 have been assessed to measure their contribution towards EU water policy. By highlighting progress so far, the resulting reports can help improve future integration:

Water Scarcity and Droughts – the European Union is taking action!

scarcityWhile Europe is largely considered as having adequate water resources, water scarcity and drought is an increasingly frequent and widespread phenomenon in the European Union.

The main overall objective of EU water policy is to ensure access to good quality water in sufficient quantity for all Europeans, and to ensure the good status of all water bodies across Europe.

Read more about EU action on water scarcity and drought.

Flood Risk Management – read more about the Floods Directive!

EU Member States are obliged to carry out a preliminary assessment of flood risk to identify areas of potential flood risk, to establish and publish flood hazard and risk maps and to develop and implement Flood Risk Management Plans to reduce flood risk.

Read more about the EU Floods Directive.


Commission Communication on the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water adopted

The European Commission has launched a European Innovation Partnership on Water with the aim to support and facilitate the development of innovative solutions to water related challenges and to create market opportunities by doing so. The EIP Water brings together all relevant stakeholders to identify the priority areas for action, to identify barriers to innovation and to propose solutions to break down these barriers. The EIP Water takes a problem oriented approach and makes use of the various existing European, national and regional initiatives.

For more information about the EIP Water, please look at our dedicated website and the EIP Water Marketplace.

Water is at the core of climate change adaptation




The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.