`Tips and Tricks` for Water Framework Directive implementation

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Courtesy of European Environmental Bureau

People care about water. A recent poll on European attitudes on the environment showed that citizens are increasingly concerned about the pollution of rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters. In 2002, more than 40% of European citizens were ‘very worried’ about the state of freshwater ecosystems. This marked a sharp increase of 10% from 1999.

Water protection is one of the European Union (EU)’s oldest environmental policies. There are over twenty pieces of legislation to protect surface water and groundwater from human activities, setting water quality standards, and requiring pollution abatement techniques and emission controls for a variety of water uses and activities. Despite this impressive legislative body, the integrity of your water is far from acceptable and smaller rivers and lakes, as well as groundwater, are still deteriorating, in particular those affected by diffuse pollution. The reason? Many of the relevant EU laws have not been properly implemented or enforced, and the objectives of other EU policies, including on industry, agriculture and transport, are in open contradiction with ‘water protection’ objectives.

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