Studying The Water Framework Directive Environmental Sciences Essay

The Water Framework Directive is the most important piece of statute law in the field of Water Policy to day of the month. This Directing entered into force on its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 22nd December 2000. This was entered into Irish Law in December 2003 by the European Communities ( Water Policy ) Regulations

2003. Article 16 was so amended in 2005 ( S.I. No. 415 of 2005 ) .

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Previous H2O related statute law in Ireland and Europe has been fragmented and has either

been emission control or H2O quality related. A new and more coordinated attack was

needed and a major reappraisal of EU H2O policy was undertaken eventually ensuing in the Water

Framework Directive. This ‘Umbrella ‘ directing ties together bing statute law while

revoking other directives on a phased footing.

The Water Framework Directive establishes a direction construction for European H2O policy, with the following chief aims:

Expanding the range of H2O protection to all Waterss, surface and groundwaters

Achieving “ Good Status in all Waterss by 2015 and keeping “ High Status ” where it already exists.

Water direction based on river basins

Combined attack of emanation bound values and quality criterions.

Calculating the true costs for H2O and waste H2O

Making consciousness and acquiring communities involved in the H2O direction procedure.

Streamlining statute law.

During the class of this study, the background of the Water Framework Directive will be discussed, what it replaced in Ireland, and what it means for the hereafter of H2O protection in Ireland. The execution of the Directive will besides be analysed, with peculiar accent on the West of Ireland River Basin District. There will besides be a treatment on H2O charges in Ireland, how they will be calculated, and the impact they will hold on the Irish society.


Attempts to protect the valuable groundwater resource in Europe began in the 1970 ‘s ensuing in the acceptance of the first Groundwater Directive ( 80/68/EEC ) . However this early directive was limited in range, concentrating on the control of emanations of substances from industrial and urban beginnings. Despite extra directives aimed at commanding diffuse pollution from agricultural and industrial beginnings it became progressively clear during the 1990 ‘s to the European Union that there was a demand for farther action to avoid long-run impairment of quality and measure of all freshwater resources, including groundwater across Europe. This led to a Framework for an Integrated European Water Policy and resulted in the acceptance of the Water Framework Directive ( 2000/60/EC ) . For the i¬?rst clip groundwater became portion of an incorporate H2O direction system. The WFD includes groundwater in its river basin direction planning, and sets clear mileposts for groundwater organic structures in footings of definition, economic analysis, word picture ( analysis of force per unit areas and impacts ) , monitoring, and the design of programmes of steps to guarantee that, by the terminal of 2015, there is a sufficient measure of groundwater of good chemical position.

This was subsequently complemented by the acceptance in 2006 of a girl directive ( Directive 2006/118/EC ) puting down extra proficient specii¬?cations on the protection of groundwater against pollution and impairment.

In Ireland the original Groundwater Directive ( 80/68/EEC ) was chiefly transposed into National statute law through ;

The Local Government ( Water Pollution ) Act, 1977 to 1990.

The Local Government ( Water Pollution ) Regulations, 1978 ( SI No 108 of 1978 ) .

The Protection of Groundwater Regulations, 1999 ( SI No 41 of 1999 ) . This is due to be repealed and replaced by the Waste Water Discharge ( Authorisation ) Regulations, 2007 ( SI 684 of 2007 ) in 2013.

The Local Government ( Water Pollution ) ( Amendment ) Regulations, 1999 ( SI No 42 of 1999 ) .

The old Groundwater Directive ( 80/68/EEC ) will be repealed by 2013 under the WFD but remains in force for forestalling or restricting pollution from List I and List II substances until so. It is to be replaced by the demands of the Water Framework Directive ( 2000/60/EC ) and new Groundwater Directive ( 2006/118/EC ) . The intent of the proposed ordinances is to permute the demands of the two latter directives into National statute law and supply for transitional agreements from the old Groundwater Directive ( 80/68/EEC ) .


The construct of river basin direction is introduced to all EU member provinces through the constitution of ‘river basin territories ‘ as the basic direction units

For each river basin territory a river basin direction program ( RBMP ) must be developed, including a programme of steps, and these organize the footing for the accomplishment of H2O quality protection and betterments.

Although its premier purposes are environmental, the Directive embraces all three rules of sustainable development. Environmental, economic, and societal demands must all be taken into history when river basin direction programs are being developed and implemented.

The RBMPs do non let farther impairment of bing H2O quality. With certain defined exclusions, the purpose is to accomplish at least good position for all H2O organic structures in each RBD by 2015. Definitions for good position can be seen in Appendix 1.

The decrease of chemical pollution of all H2O organic structures is besides a cardinal demand.

Measures to conserve H2O measure have been introduced as an indispensable constituent of environmental protection.

Public engagement, and the engagement of the local community are cardinal in the river basin direction planning procedure.

The Directive impacts on every facet of H2O usage: domestic, industrial, agricultural, leisure and environmental preservation. Besides limitations on point beginning discharges the accomplishment of good position means undertaking the jobs of diffuse pollution from agribusiness and contaminated land. In some cases it may necessitate river re-grading work, or the reversal of land drainage strategies, to reconstruct lost home grounds. Environmental administrations hope that execution of the Directive will ensue in major betterments to the biodiversity of H2O home grounds.


Discharges, chiefly of foods from agricultural activities, and from municipal effluent intervention plants are seen as the rule causes of less than satisfactory or hapless H2O in the province. Other lending factors, such as effluent from unsewered belongingss, industrial discharges, and discharges from other activities have besides been identified. Since these are the biggest subscribers to pollution, remedial action should concentrate on these facets. However, H2O abstraction and physical alterations should besides be addressed as other possible beginnings of H2O pollution. The WDF outlines a programme of disciplinary steps to reconstruct and protect H2O position by turn toing the chief beginnings of pollution in a peculiar territory,

Ireland is presently implementing assorted steps contained in the WDF, and is provided for in national statute law. These include the Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Waters ( 2009 ) , and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Regulations ( 2001-2010 ) . Other steps are presently under readying, such as proposed mandate for abstractions and physical alterations, and late introduced steps such as the new Bathing Water Regulations ( 2008 ) . The cardinal steps include:

Control of unsewered waste H2O discharges.

Control of agricultural beginnings of pollution.

Control of urban waste H2O discharges.

Water pricing policy.

Sub-basin direction programs and programmes of steps for the intent of accomplishing environmental H2O quality aims for Natura 2000 sites designated for the protection of Freshwater Pearl Mussel populations.

Pollution decrease programmes for the intent of accomplishing H2O quality criterions for designated shellfish Waterss

Control of environmental impacts from forestry.

The action programme intended to accomplish the program ‘s environmental aims sets out:

What the step is

Where and when will it be applied

Who will take the action.


5.1 Introduction

The RBMP for the Western River Basin District purposes to protect all Waterss within the territory, and where necessary, achieve sustainable H2O usage, covering the period from 2009 to 2015. Waters included in the program are lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs, coastal Waterss, groundwaters, protected countries ( water-dependant ecosystems ) and estuaries.

Through the River Basin Management Plan, Ireland is committed to pull off all Waterss through the catchment based procedure in order to run into the steps laid down by the EU Water Framework Directive. The execution of the program will profit whole communities, and by 2027 at the latest, the betterment of the bulk should hold reached good position. This should supply long term sustainable entree and usage of those Waterss that reach the needed set criterions.

The Western District is bordered by the North Western International River Basin District, and the Shannon International River Basin District. It comprises practically all of Sligo and Mayo, the Galway Urban District country, big parts of Galway county, northern Leitrim, and smaller countries of Roscommon and Clare. The WRBD is about 12,200 kmA? in country, with approximately 2,700km of coastline. The map of the WRBD is shown next. Large countries of the WRBD have been designated as Particular Areas of Conservation under the EU Natural Habitats Regulations 1997. The RBMP has being developed jointly by the county councils of Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Galway City Council, defined by the European Communities ( Water Policy ) Regulations 2003.

5.2 The Development of the WRBD Water Policy Plan

The local governments mentioned earlier, after the EU published the WFD, had to fix elaborate programs, which required the project of proficient work, coordination and audiences in order for the execution of policy. Since the countries involved cover a huge country, the WRBD is split up into 14 H2O direction units ( WMU ) , which are smaller in geographical graduated table than river basin territories, ensuing in more elaborate localized surveies for the intent of policy planning. Each of these WMUs study to whichever local authorization in which they are situated, and when pieced together via media most of the information contained in the WRBD H2O policy program. The development of the WRBD Water Policy Plan is structured under the undermentioned headers:

Probe and proficient work



5.2.1 Investigation and proficient work

The lakes, rivers, reservoirs, estuaries, coastal H2O organic structures, and groundwater organic structures within the territory have been delineated based on physical features. The possible beginnings of pollutions were, and go on to be identified and impacts assessed. Waters were classified based on consequences of monitoring that was carried out. The chief proficient issues that were to be included in the 2009 program are:

Timescales for the recovery of H2O quality one time remedial steps are implemented

Prioritisation of effluent intervention workss for probe, and remedial plants required for their conformity with the urban effluent intervention ordinances.

Preparation of catchment direction programs for designated fresh water pearl mussel and shellfish Waterss.

An appraisal of the cost of steps for effluent discharges and on-site systems.

5.2.2 Consultation

Consultation is a really of import portion of the direction program. The program is prepared by the RBD Advisory Council, who have representatives from the local governments, the communities, and stakeholder groups ( agribusiness, angling, industry, and non-governmental administrations. The ground for such diverseness in the Advisory Council is to hold a wide range on the issues, and so that all facets society can hold a practical input. Voluntary groups such as SWAN ( Sustainable Water Network ) are besides involved in Water Framework Directive activities. They are Ireland ‘s prima national and local environmental administrations specifically constituted to turn to public engagement demands of the WFD.

5.2.3 Planning

This is the systematic procedure of placing hazards to Waterss, measuring the position of Waterss, puting aims and developing steps to accomplish those aims. This is the consequence of immense sums of proficient preparatory work with the aid of public stakeholders. This planning establishes H2O position aims and identifies the steps that are required in order to accomplish those aims. It besides identifies the administrations that are responsible for the implementing the steps required.


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