Water Framework Directive programmes of measures: Lessons from the 1st planning cycle of a catchment in England

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Title: Water Framework Directive programmes of measures: Lessons from the 1st planning cycle of a catchment in England
Authors: Giakoumis, T
Voulvoulis, N
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) required Member States to establish programmes of measures to achieve good water status formally by 2015, but on postponing the deadline by two six-year periods, by 2027 at the latest. With many Member States facing problems with developing such measures in the first planning cycle, and limited change in ecological status since the first river basin management plans were reported, we look at the implementation of the Directive in England, where only 17% of the surface water bodies were found at good status in 2015, a reduction of 4% since 2009. Using as a case study the Broadland Rivers catchment, we examine the measures taken for Cycle 1 and changes in the classifications of water body status, to investigate whether the way the measures were developed could have limited their potential to deliver WFD objectives. While the WFD was adopted to succeed and replace management practices targeting individually non-compliant element, findings indicate that little had changed in the way measures were developed. Although considerable progress has been made on the implementation of these measures, the limited progress in improving classifications demonstrates the limits of this approach and further makes the case for what the WFD was introduced for: the harmonised transposition of the Integrated River Basin Management paradigm, as the key for delivering good ecological status.
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2019
Date of Acceptance: 30-Jan-2019
ISSN: 0048-9697
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Start Page: 903
End Page: 916
Journal / Book Title: Science of The Total Environment
Volume: 668
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Sponsor/Funder: Commission of the European Communities
Funder's Grant Number: 603629
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Sciences
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Water policy
Policy implementation
Catchment management
Systems thinking
Ecosystem services
MD Multidisciplinary
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Online Publication Date: 2019-02-07
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy

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