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The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD)

In response to the increasing threat of pollution and the increasing demand from the public for cleaner rivers, lakes and beaches, the EU has developed the Water Framework Directive (WFD). This Directive is unique in that, for the first time, it establishes a framework for the protection of all waters including rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater, and their dependent wildlife/habitats under one piece of environmental legislation. Specifically the WFD aims to:

  • protect/enhance all waters (surface, ground and coastal waters)

  • achieve "good status" for all waters by December 2015

  • manage water bodies based on river basins (or catchments)

  • involve the public

  • streamline legislation

More detail on the EU Water Framework Directive is presented on the series of pages listed at the top of this page. You may also wish to visit some of the websites listed on the 'Links' page.

Please note that this website relates only to the first cycle of River Basin Managements Plans for the period from 2009 to 2015.  For material in relation to the second and subsequent cycles of River Basin Management Plans, please see the website www.catchments.ie

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