Alternative objectives : time extensions and less stringent objectives

Ward, Rob; Marsland, Tony; Besien, Tim. 2010 Alternative objectives : time extensions and less stringent objectives. In: Europe-Inbo 2010, Megeve, France, 22-24 Sept 2010. (Unpublished)

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The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) (WFD) establishes a suite of environmental objectives for groundwater. In implementing the Directive and producing the first River Basin Management Plans, Member States have had to identify whether the these objectives are being met. If this assessment has shown that one or more of the objectives for groundwater is not being met, or is at risk of being failed, programmes of measures must be implemented to ensure that all relevant environmental objectives are met within six years – the publication date of the next River Basin Management Plan (22nd December, 2015). In reality, especially for groundwater, achieving all the relevant objectives in such a short timescale may not be possible or practical. The WFD recognises this and allows for an extension of the deadline (beyond 2015) for the purposes of a phased achievement of the environmental objectives. This is provided that there is no further deterioration in status (Article 4.4). Any such extension is limited to a maximum of two further river basin cycles (12 years) except where natural conditions mean that objectives can still not be achieved. A further provision is made for the situation where a water body is so badly affected by human activity or where natural conditions mean that achievement of the objectives(s) would be infeasible or disproportionally expensive. In these cases less stringent objectives (relative to those defined in Article 4.1) can be set, provided that there is the least possible deviation from good status conditions. Where extended deadlines or less stringent objectives have been proposed, Member States must provide an explanation and justification in the River Basin Management Plan. In the case of extended deadlines, a timetable for implementation of measures and the achievement of objectives must also be provided. This paper provides an overview of the approach used in England and Wales for identifying programmes of measures for groundwater, predicting outcomes and setting alternative objectives in relation to groundwater quality. Similar approaches were used for quantitative (water resource) aspects and also for surface water bodies.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Groundwater Science
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater protection
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
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Date made live: 05 Oct 2010 15:13 +0 (UTC)

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