Water Framework Directive
The EU Water Framework Directive ( 2000/60/EC ) was adopted in 2000. It applies to rivers, lakes, groundwater, estuaries and coastal waters. Member States are required to prevent deterioration of water bodies and to take measures to protect and restore water bodies to at least good status. Restoring water bodies to at least good status is to be achieved by 2015 or later specified dates where extended timelines are needed for reasons of technical feasibility or disproportionate cost.
The Water Framework Directive is implemented through River Basin Management Plans which identify the status, pressures and impacts on water bodies, and set out objectives and measures to achieve those objectives.
Ireland’s first River Basin Management Plans ran from 2009 to 2015. The second cycle River Basin Management Plan for Ireland runs from 2018 to 2021. Of the water bodies identified as being at risk of failing WFD objectives, the significant pressures most frequently identified are agriculture, followed by wastewater, then hydromorphology, forestry, diffuse urban, peat, industry, mines and quarries.
In Co. Meath, a significant proportion of water bodies, particularly rivers, need improvement to meet WFD objectives.
Further details on the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021 and WFD implementation can be found at the links below.
River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021:
Information on catchment management and water quality
Environmental Protection Agency and WFD
Local Authority Waters Programme
European Commission and WFD