Encyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs

2012 Edition
| Editors: Lars Bengtsson, Reginald W. Herschy, Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Water Framework Directive

  • Ben Surridge
  • Nigel Watson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4410-6_217


European-wide legislative framework seeking more integrated, rationalized, and sustainable management of water in the twenty-first century

Context and background

Water management is one of the oldest and most established areas of environmental policy in the European Union (EU). Starting in the 1970s, EU water policy evolved from an initial concern for the protection of human health via common drinking water standards. In the late 1980s, the focus moved toward the aquatic environment itself and the use of emission limit values (ELVs). Finally, from the mid-1990s onward, policy was reoriented toward the development of a more holistic and strategic approach that recognizes the interconnections between surface and ground water, water quantity and quality, and the impacts of land-based activities on the water environment (McCormick, 2001).

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is the centerpiece of the EU’s integrated approach to water protection and management. It is expected to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lancaster Environment CentreLancaster UniversityLancasterUK