The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC, WFD) is the key legal instrument for water management in the European Union. It requires Member States to control water use, pollution of waters and other activities that might have an impact on rivers, lakes, groundwater or coastal waters. It also requires pricing for water to reflect the actual costs of services.
The Directive requires Member States to monitor and assess the condition of all the water bodies in its territory, and to determine which activities are having an adverse impact on those water bodies. Options to reduce these impacts and to achieve better conditions need to be examined and most cost-effective combination of measures applied. Projects that may result in an adverse impact on surface waters or groundwater need to be assessed in this context, to determine whether the project complies with WFD Requirements.
The EU Water Directors endorsed in 2017 as part of the Common Implementation Strategy for the WFD and the Floods Directive the Guidance Document No. 36 on “Exemptions to the Environmental Objectives according to Article 4(7) Water Framework Directive (WFD)”. This document focuses on new modifications to the physical characteristics of surface water bodies, alterations to the level of groundwater, or new sustainable human development activities.
In order to determine whether Article 4(7) WFD tests need to be applied, and to complement Guidance Document No. 36, JASPERS has developed in 2018, in close coordination with DG Environment, a checklist using a four-step approach for assessing whether projects could lead to deterioration or compromise the achievement of the WFD objectives.
As presented in the Webinar, JASPERS is currently updating the checklist, to reflect lessons learned on its use acquired over the last three years, as well as recent developments, including references relevant for its use in Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-27. In cooperation with DG ENVIRONMENT, the checklist is also being updated to reflect the recent ruling from the Court of Justice on temporary effects ( C-525/20 of 5 May 2022
The Updated checklist will be published soon on this website.