Water Resources Management

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 1453–1466 | Cite as

Assessment of Disproportionate Costs According to the WFD: Comparison of Applications of two Approaches in the Catchment of the Stanovice Reservoir (Czech Republic)

  • Jan MacháčEmail author
  • Jan Brabec


The EU Water Framework Directive requires all water bodies within EU member states to achieve the “good status” by 2015/2021/2027. As it has proved to be very challenging for many water bodies, demand for cost proportionality analysis has increased dramatically, because disproportionate costs are one of the justifiable reasons for a deadline extension. This has led to development of many approaches across Europe. Among others, the Czech official methodology based on monetary cost-benefit analysis and the German “New Leipzig approach” based on criteria and cost threshold were introduced in 2015. Both approaches estimate costs of achieving the “good status”, but differ significantly in evaluating benefits. The Czech methodology identifies various categories of benefits, monetizes them and later compares them with costs of measure implementation. The German methodology determines how proportionate it is to spend on measures based on past public expenditures, objective distance to the “good status” and generated benefits. Both methodologies were tested on a small Stanovice catchment in the Czech Republic with similar results, which allows for a comparison of the two approaches they represent. Achieving the “good status” is viewed as cost-proportionate. Application of both methodologies is associated with numerous problems (e.g., data availability, estimate accuracy), which are further discussed in the paper.


Water framework directive Proportionality analysis Cost-benefit analysis New Leipzig approach 



This work was supported by the project of Technology Agency of the Czech Republic No. TD020352 and the project Specific Academic Research Projects 2017 of Charles University, Faculty of Humanities No. 260 471.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsUniversity of EconomicsPrague 3Czech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of HumanitiesCharles UniversityPrague 5Czech Republic

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