Bringing life back to Europe's waters: the EU water law in action
Healthy freshwater ecosystems are essential for nature, for society and for economies. Yet not even half the waters in the EU are currently considered healthy. The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), agreed by EU governments in 2000, is a holistic piece of legislation that aims to achieve good status of Europe’s freshwater bodies by 2027 at the latest - from our rivers, streams and lakes, to wetlands, transitional and coastal waters. However, Member States need to seriously ramp up their efforts if they are to reach the WFD's goals. This report shows that, where political will exists, this visionary law provides an effective framework for addressing the main pressures facing freshwater ecosystems, such as agriculture, hydropower, 'grey' flood defence and navigation.