The European Union Water Framework Directive Environmental Sciences Essay

September 1, 2017 Environmental Sciences

The execution of the EU Water Framework Directive and the accomplishment of its H2O quality aims will to a big degree depend on scientii¬?c cognition about the beginnings and position of H2O resources and the effects of alleviative steps. Coastal Waterss will be of cardinal in- terest, since the direction of whole river basins may be affected if coastal H2O position is non satisfactory. The Water Directive ‘s general waies on what information the H2O governments need and on suited methods for obtaining such information leave it to the Member provinces to make up one’s mind on more precise instructions. Improved legal mechanisms are needed to help and steer the manag- Ers and scientists charged with implementing the direc- tive and accomplishing its H2O quality aims, peculiarly when faced with insufi¬?cient information, flawed knowl- border, or changed fortunes. We assess advancement in the current procedure of implementing the Water Direc- tive in Sweden, concentrating on coastal Waterss, and on gen- eral jobs originating utilizing this type of legal technique.


The disposal of H2O resources within the European

Union ( EU ) is in a period of drastic alteration. By December

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2003, all member provinces were lawfully bound to hold enacted national statute law compatible with the 2000/60/EC Water Framework Directive ( WFD ) – the Water Directive – which was adopted in 1999 ( 1 ) . Its intent is to forestall farther dete- rioration of H2O resources within the EU, and to protect and if needed enhance their position, in order to guarantee long-run sustainability of H2O usage ( 2 ) .

To make this end will necessitate accurate scientii¬?c knowl- border on H2O resources and on factors ini¬‚uencing their position. In this article we discuss how the ecosystem-based manage- ment system that distinguishes the WFD depends on scien- tii¬?c information, and besides look at the methods needed for its execution. In peculiar, we analyze the legal maps needed for helping and commanding scientists and directors in their pick of information and methods. We i¬?rst cover the general facets of this subject, and so concentrate specii¬?cally on the direction of coastal Waterss, and in peculiar those of Swe- lair ( 3 ) . The accomplishment of environmental quality aims, like good H2O position, depends on many different factors. We analyze the jobs chiefly from a legal position, as we see the legal system as a necessary, but non a sufi¬?cient base for a system of sustainable H2O direction.

Like all joint European Community ( EC ) statute law, the Water Directive is the consequence of many via medias ( 4 ) . The Directive is complicated, lawfully every bit good as technically, and includes several comprehensive extensions and legion refer- ences to already bing EC directives of relevancy to H2O

direction, e.g. the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive ( 91/271/EEC ) and the Nitrates Directive ( 91/676/EEC ) , which will stay in force, at least ab initio. In add-on, several dif- i¬?cult issues have been left unfastened, to be solved jointly later in the procedure, or by the single member provinces.

Not merely is the Directive in itself complicated, go forthing inquiries to be analyzed, but in add-on, lawfully based man- agement designed non merely for advancing but for really accomplishing a certain degree of environmental quality, is extreme- ly difi¬?cult and complex. In general, legal techniques for han- dling such undertakings are still inadequately developed, and a chal- lenge to environmental legal scientists, since they differ rather markedly from what legal research traditionally focuses on. The theoretical footing for such direction has been analyzed and developed by Westerlund ( 5, 6 ) , and further developed for execution of environmental quality aims by Gip- Perth ( 7, 8 ) and Christensen ( 9 ) . Aiming at farther develop- ment of legal techniques, every bit good as at advancing an consciousness of the demand for such development, this article focuses on the legal operationalization of environmental quality aims and criterions, a cardinal measure for implementing the WFD. Central inquiries that need replies are: Who will make up one’s mind what meth- Doctor of Optometry directors and scientists should utilize when finding the features of H2O countries, analysing H2O quality or de- ciding on environmental quality criterions? What is a reason- able degree of truth and preciseness in such determinations? Who will make up one’s mind and who will be able to command such processs? How crystalline can such determinations be to the general populace, nongovernmental organisations, etc. ? How will economic as- pects of these determinations be taken into history? What costs are sensible, e.g. for word picture and analysis in relation to protective steps, and who will make up one’s mind on such balanc- ing? To fix for treatments of such inquiries, we will i¬?rst show the aims and the general attack of the Water Directive.


The Water Directive ‘s general pertinence to all H2O re- beginnings within the brotherhood is one look of its ecosystem attack ( 10 ) . The future H2O direction is to be based on the existent i¬‚ow of H2O in the landscape, i.e. on the drain- age basin, and be unfettered by human administrative boundary lines between municipalities, counties and states ( 11 ) . Member States must make up one’s mind how to define river basins and how these are to be administered in river basin territories ( art. 3 WFD ) . Unlike old water-related directives that regulated differ- ent utilizations and types of H2O on a individual footing, the new Water Directive covers all H2O resources in the Union-sur- face Waterss and groundwater, fresh water and estuaries and

Figure 1. Swedish coastal countries ( dark blue ) harmonizing to the Water Framework Directive, with outer boundary line line ( ruddy ) . Baltic Sea Area includes Baltic Sea with its gulfs and the Kattegat.

Illustration: M. Blomqvist.

next coastal waters-and regulates both their quality ( chemical every bit good as ecological position ) and the measures that can be abstracted for usage, straight or indirectly ( indirectly besides ini¬‚uencing the H2O quality ) .

Harmonizing to the Water Directive ( art. 2 ( 7 ) WFD ) , coastal

Waterss comprise “ surface H2O on the landward side of a line, every point of which is at a distance of one maritime stat mi on the offshore side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the comprehensiveness of territorial Waterss is measured, widening where allow up to the outer bound of transitional Waterss ” . The term “ Transitional Waterss ” here denotes the largely tidal blending zones of big river oral cavities, and merely little countries in Sweden will be designated as such ( 21 ) in the Directive, “ transitional Waterss ” and “ coastal Waterss ” together do up “ coastal countries ” ( Fig. 1 ) . The quality of unfastened Marine Waterss is managed under the appli- overseas telegram international conventions, and will subsequently be addressed besides through the Marine Strategy that EU has begun to develop.

The protection of H2O quality is the get downing point for the WFD direction system and another facet of its ecosystem attack. Water direction and the rights and responsibilities of in- dividuals who ini¬‚uence the H2O quality will be based on the aim that good H2O position should be achieved by the twelvemonth

2015 ( 12 ) . The quality of coastal Waterss, peculiarly those with limited H2O exchange, can frequently be mostly determined by the H2O direction in bordering river basins. To better condi- tions in the coastal countries, there may be a demand to pull off non merely the impact from the next coastal strip, but activities in the whole river basin. If coastal H2O quality is non satisfactory

harmonizing to the H2O quality aims of the WFD, human activities far up in the river basin may hold to be curtailed or modii¬?ed. Furthermore, signii¬?cant betterments may besides be required in the bordering sea country as a whole, in order to accomplish satisfactory H2O quality position in a given coastal country. So even if unfastened sea countries are non officially covered by the WFD, they will still hold to be considered in its execution. Conse- quently, the position of coastal Waterss may potentially ini¬‚uence H2O direction of full river basins every bit good as of next sea countries. The instead arbitrary boundary line line for the legal power of the WFD, drawn one maritime stat mi outside the baseline, is a job for the execution of an ecosystem attack, as it is non based on natural ecosystem boundaries. On the other manus, a full execution of the Directive in coastal countries will inevi- tably ini¬‚uence the position of some unfastened sea countries with restricted H2O exchange with the Ocean, e.g. the Baltic Sea.


The WFD non merely aims at, but explicitly prescribes that all H2O resources within the brotherhood must achieve good H2O position by the twelvemonth of 2015, unless an freedom has been granted ( 13, 14 ) . The more precise significance of the H2O aims in article 4 of the WFD, to achieve ‘good H2O position ‘ is partially specii¬?ed for different types of Waterss in the extensions of the directive, and by H2O quality criterions in bing directives and national statute law. The H2O aims are nevertheless non yet operationalized ( 7 ) to the extent required for implementa- tion of the Directive. This undertaking, which has been left chiefly to the Member States, has a strong legal facet, since the Di- rective must non merely to be implemented in pattern, but besides be encoded in the national statute law ( 15 ) . This acknowledgment of the Rule of Law requires legislators to establish on i¬?rm legal land ( 16 ) each possible violation of a individual ‘s freedom to foul or abstract H2O, as considered necessary to imple- ment the H2O aims.

The challenge is consequently to plan a legal tool that transforms the demand to accomplish a specii¬?ed H2O position into legal regulations effectual for persons ( Fig. 2 ) ( 7 ) . General regulations of behavior ( like best available engineering – BAT ) will usually cut down the impact on H2O position by histrions covered by the regulations, like husbandmans and sewerage intervention workss. In cas- Es where H2O aims are still non achieved, even though regulations of behavior have been followed, there is a demand for more rigorous and specii¬?c demands, or inducements for histrions to take needed farther actions. Parties responsible for continuing a specii¬?c degree of H2O quality therefore necessitate to transform the general quality aims into specii¬?c demands for ac- tion for the different activities impacting H2O quality. In the WFD, plans of steps fuli¬?l this map.

The WFD makes the H2O governments responsible for the legal operationalization of the H2O aims. They have to manage state of affairss where the dealingss between causes and effects are extremely complex, and therefore many different mea- sures have to be considered, before taking determinations on how to

Figure 2. A legal base for transforming H2O aims into responsibilities for single histrions.

accomplish the H2O aims in specii¬?c instances. This work must be based on scientii¬?c information and cognition. A method for legal operationalization of H2O quality aims is il- lustrated in Figure 3 ( 17 ) .

Figure 3. Legal operationalization of H2O aims.

The i¬?rst measure in this procedure is to qualify the H2O re- beginning and to make up one’s mind on general H2O aims for this type of H2O, e.g. a semi-enclosed basin in an archipelago in the Baltic Sea proper. Based on the general aims, the 2nd measure is to dei¬?ne more precise standard for the H2O aims, e.g. make up one’s minding on environmental quality criterions and stan- Dards for ecological quality. Once these are set, farther human impact can merely be allowed if it does non take to misdemeanor of the criterions. To foretell a waterbody ‘s assimilative capacity ( step 3 ) , it is clearly necessary to see besides the ini¬‚uence of factors independent of direct human action, e.g. natural run- off and its fluctuation. The load of duty must so ( step 4 ) be farther specii¬?ed and divided between different hu- adult male beginnings of impact, by regulations of behavior, either by general legal criterions, such as BAT, or by more specii¬?c emanation criterions or protective steps. The purpose is to set up a legal place for all persons with an ini¬‚uence on the wa- ter position, dwelling of regulations on how to act that let the ecological resiliency of the ecosystem ( i.e. the ecosystem ‘s possible to digest the amount of impacts without undergoing drastic alteration ) to be used, but non exceeded. It is nevertheless non sufi¬?cient to operationalize the aims into rights and responsibilities for persons one time and for all. Lack of cognition and nonlinearity of ecosystem response are worlds that require a feedback map in the legal system ( step 5 ) . With such a map in topographic point, the ecosystem and its reactions to different sorts of impact will organize the model for human develop- ment, and force society and its single histrions to accommodate to alterations in the position of the ecosystem.

This legal method is what the WFD ( and several other EU directives ) term the combined attack ( 18 ) . Polluters are required to command emanations by utilizing the best available techniques ( or in instance of diffuse impacts, best environmental patterns ) , but may besides be required to run into even more strin- gent emanation controls, if required to run into a quality aim, or to avoid go againsting a choice criterion. A different method for finding regulations of behavior is to get down from the proficient and economic potency of histrions to follow or alter behavior. Such an attack has long been used in Sweden, and has been successful in many ways. But its application is limited to in- dividual histrions or subdivisions and hence is non appropriate when the aggregated impact from many histrions leads to misdemeanor of environmental quality criterions.


It is obvious that national legislators and directors will confront difi¬?culties when implementing the Water Directive ‘s ecosys- tem attack and that they will necessitate the engagement of

scientists, for illustration in qualifying H2O resources, ana- lyzing their position and foretelling what steps are needed to accomplish the aim of good H2O position. Relevant informa- tion may be obtained in many different ways, depending for illustration on what facets of the H2O resource are considered, what informations are available or potentially gettable, the cost and the handiness of financess for acquiring the information, and of how de- tailed the information needs to be. It is hence interesting to analyse if and how scientists will be able to present the in- formation required by the statute law, what methods they will or should utilize and how the consequences should be presented. Lim- ited resources will be a job. Member States clearly have a duty to supply resources for implementing the Water Directive, but how far does this duty range? When resources are limited, how can scientists and directors balance the demand for information for qualifying the wa- ter position against the demand to originate and implement protective steps? The Water Directive provides merely general guid- ance on how to manage such quandaries and i¬?ll the demand for information. The Commission has started working groups to help the Member States to set up common processs for implementing the WFD in the brotherhood, but in many instances the guiding paperss produced are besides rather general ( 19 ) . It is therefore fundamentally up to each Member State to do the elaborate determinations. Below we discuss the function of legislators, directors and scientists in relation to some of the of import maps of the WFD.

The Choice of Scale in Characterization of Water Areas

One of the i¬?rst undertakings for a H2O authorization will be to character- ize all H2O resources in its river basin territory ( art. 5 ) . It must get down by make up one’s minding on how precise this word picture has to be ( 20 ) . The big natural differences in clime and salt found along the Swedish coastline preclude the usage of unvarying dei¬?nitions for qualifying the H2O position in the whole coastal country. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute has proposed a division of Swedish coastal Waterss into 23 subareas, based on features such as deepness, strati- i¬?cation, wave exposure, salt, bottom substrate, period of ice screen, and H2O exchange ( 21 ) . For each subarea, i¬?ve degrees of H2O status-high, good, moderate, hapless and bad- have to be dei¬?ned.

These 23 coastal countries will necessitate over 100 dei¬?nitions of position, each based on chemical every bit good as ecological position dei¬?nitions. The proper identii¬?cation of mention conditions, which are needed for dei¬?ning “ high position ” , and the determination on how big divergences from these should be used as the bor- derline between “ moderate ” and “ good position ” , will in prac- tice be the most critical. Ecological position in coastal Waterss is dei¬?ned utilizing as primary parametric quantities the community position of phytoplankton, bottom flora and underside zoology, but utilizing besides back uping physicochemical parametric quantities, such as O content, H2O lucidity ( Secchi deepness ) , etc. ( 22 ) . A major prob- lunar excursion module in Swedish coastal Waterss is the scarceness of informations on which to establish the needed position dei¬?nitions. Surveies by the Swedish Environment Protection Agency in late 2003 showed that merely

8 of the 23 countries had sufi¬?cient informations for a meaningful evalua- tion for phytoplankton ( 23 ) , and that several countries besides lacked informations for benthal macrovegetation ( 24 ) . For macrobenthic ani- Master of Arts in Library Sciences, position had to be judged individually for shoal ( & lt ; 20 m ) and deeper ( & gt ; 20 m ) undersides, giving 46 categories, with sufi¬?cient informations available for well less than half ( 25 ) . This deficiency of basic information is non easy to rectify, because trained forces is scarce, and fluctuation in consequences between old ages considerable ( 19 ) , intending that several old ages of informations are needed for mean-

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ingful ratings. Even back uping physicochemical informations are scarce in many of the 23 countries ( 26 ) , and about all the informations have been collected in recent old ages ( after c. 1975 ) , when the Baltic Sea country and likely besides Skagerrak coastal Waterss had already undergone considerable anthropogenetic alteration. Therefore, there are really few informations sets utile for dei¬?ning existent ref- erence conditions, and all proposed solutions to this job suffer from major uncertainnesss.

Similar jobs in set uping position category boundaries will happen for all types and categories of Waterss. An economically of import determination will be to dei¬?ne what is to be classii¬?ed as artii¬?cial or to a great extent modii¬?ed Waterss ( 27 ) , since these are non required to make good H2O position, but merely the less rigorous demand of “ good ecological potency ” .

Water Objectives in Relation to Value

The H2O aims will be operationalized into imperative and steering standard values for dei¬?ning categories of H2O position, with the minimal degree for “ good H2O position ” being the most im- portant in pattern. Previously decided H2O directives will con- tinue to supply a minimal acceptable degree, unless superseded by the new criterions. Who, so, is to make up one’s mind on these dei¬?ni- tions and by what procedure should they be established? Even if entree to scientii¬?c informations is a basic stipulation for puting H2O quality criterions, it may be questioned if this is a undertaking merely for scientists and directors. The determination on what should be seen as a good H2O position besides contains a rating of what is “ good ” . The degree of environmental quality seen as good is frequently dei¬?ned by mention to some earlier clip, when the H2O quality was considered little ini¬‚uenced by society, and therefore “ good ” . But is it true that an earlier, pristine phase is needfully the most desir- able position for the long term? In the 1920s the Baltic Sea was in a really early phase of eutrophication. The one-year sum i¬?sh gimmick at that clip was merely approximately 100 000 metric tons ( 28 ) . Some 60 old ages, subsequently the external input of foods to the Baltic had increased

4-8 times ( 29 ) and the i¬?sh gimmick reached 1 million metric tons ( 28 ) , which some considered as an betterment over the earlier situ- ation. Taking into history biodiversity, would non needfully alter the position, since due to species debuts, the Baltic today seaports more species than once. In add-on, it is frequently difi¬?cult to set up the historic mention status of a waterbody, since historic informations are scarce and frequently of question- able quality, and paleoecological information, while potentially of import, is by and large difficult to construe.

Proving Nondeterioration

The Water Directive non merely requires the scene of traditional H2O quality aims and criterions, but besides obligates Mem- ber provinces to fuli¬?l the aim of nondeterioration of H2O sta- tus ( art. 4 ( 1 ) ( a ) ( I ) WFD ) . Degradation of the present H2O position can be allowed merely in exceeding instances. Not merely must the cur- rent H2O position be determined under the directive, but one time de- termined it besides becomes a sort of H2O quality criterion, since it must non be allowed to deteriorate. A license for an activity can non be granted if it will ensue in a impairment of the H2O position. An indispensable inquiry becomes how to foretell the likeli- goon of impairment. The reply may depend on how the H2O country is delimited, and may differ if the analysis covers a little bay merely, or a whole coastal country. It is besides possible that one as- pect of H2O quality may better, e.g. phytoplankton biomass may diminish, while another deteriorates, e.g. the frequence of cyanophyte blooms additions, as reported in Himmerfjarden on the Swedish seashore of the Baltic proper after decrease of the N burden from treated sewerage ( 30 ) .

Analysis of Water Status

After the constitution of H2O quality criterions, the H2O authorization needs to analyse the H2O position in relation to the H2O aims. Both classii¬?cation and analysis of H2O sta- tus harmonizing to the Water Directive for the different coastal countries will necessitate much improved cognition of chemical and biological conditions in Swedish coastal Waterss, in footings of country covered and in footings of fluctuation within and between old ages. So far, the National Swedish Marine Monitoring Pro- gm has focused on the unfastened sea and the outer coastal wa- ters. The regional environmental monitoring plans have been expected to cover the staying coastal Waterss, but re- beginnings have been limited and frequently focused on other issues. In some countries, e.g. the county of Bohus, the Kalmarsund country, and along parts of the seashore of the Gulf of Bothnia, valuable monitoring activities are carried out by regional Water Con- servation Societies, and similar activities have started for the coastal Waterss of Svealand. The demand to better and spread out monitoring of Swedish coastal Waterss is clear, but how much is adequate? The Directive and the guiding paperss supply some aid to determination shapers but the i¬?nal determinations seem likely to be decided by the financess available, instead than by an analysis of the existent demands. Management determinations taken on the footing of unequal information may ensue in either deteriora- tion of H2O quality, or uneconomical usage of scarce resources for protection of H2O position ( 20 ) .


The legal operationalization of the WFD H2O aims into precise H2O quality criterions and regulations of behavior depends on several types of scientii¬?c information. The WFD manage- ment system requires directors and scientists to depict, proctor and analyse the H2O position, to find pollution beginnings and to foretell the likely consequence of different alleviative steps. In making so, they must make up one’s mind what methods to utilize and how i¬?nancial resources should be spent.

The replies to such inquiries may indirectly impact both the legal place of persons, and the likeliness of achiev- ing the aims of the WFD, which is in the long-run inter- Eastern Time of future coevalss. The pick of graduated table for depicting H2O quality may straight impact an single histrion, e.g. a husbandman or a mill proprietor, by dei¬?ning his legal duties to move and curtailing his options for altering behaviour. The really endurance of his concern may be at interest. Depending on the monitoring technique and the frequence and dependability of bing informations, the scientii¬?c pick of graduated table may be far from straightforward, yet have profound economic and personal effects for wedged persons. If the position of a H2O country is determined from sparse available informations, it may be found to follow with the H2O quality criterions, saving the husbandman supernumerary costs for conformity. But if the H2O country is monitored more often or extensively it may be found that the stan- Dards are sometimes violated in some countries, and farming prac- tices may so hold to alter, possibly at considerable cost.

In add-on to impacting persons, the pick of methods for depicting and analysing H2O quality may besides falsify competition within and between Member States, counteract- ing a chief aim of the EU, to advance an unfastened market working on a competitory footing. This hazard is a farther rea- boy for developing legal mechanisms to procure a more uni- signifier H2O direction within the EU.

The potentially drastic effects on single individuals or en- terprises may do directors and scientists hesitate to dei¬?ne


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methods and criterions which are every bit rigorous as those required for making the aims of the Water Directive, peculiarly in the absence of precise legal waies. Another ground might be the reluctance of scientists to present advice on precise lim- its and dei¬?nitions, on the footing of informations of limited representa- tivity and sometimes disputed reading. So, have we del- egated to the directors and scientists the moral duty to utilize the best available information and methods allowed by the i¬?nancial resources at manus, or does the Water Directive include legal mechanisms for procuring this result?

The Crucial Feedback Function

A feedback map, such as illustrated in Figure 3, is a cardinal component in the operationalization of environmental aims. In the WFD ( art. 11 ( 5 ) and ( 8 ) ) such a map is provided by the demands to: I ) reappraisal plans of steps every 6 old ages ; and ii ) make up one’s mind on extra steps if necessary in order to accomplish established H2O aims, including the constitution of stricter environmental quality criterions.

This is a manner to acknowledge that fortunes may alter and to cover with the deficits of information and cognition about ecosystems and of how worlds ini¬‚uence them, which will necessarily ensue from deficiency of resources, misunderstand- ings, weaknesss of monitoring instruments, etc. The Water Di- rective obligates member provinces and their responsible H2O governments to take steps necessary to accomplish the envi- ronmental aims of article 4. If these aims or more specii¬?ed criterions are non met by day of the months specii¬?ed in the Direc- tive, the H2O governments are compelled to take such extra steps as may be needed to accomplish the aims ( art. 4 and

11 ) . Member States must besides set up stricter environmental quality criterions, if needed to accomplish the environmental ob- jectives ( art. 11 ( 5 ) WFD ) . Constantly repeating reappraisals of the word picture of waterbodies, of monitoring plans and of action plans are other ways to form H2O manage- ment to take into history that cognition will better, while society and ecosystems will go on to alter.

Control Functions

The Directive makes the Commission responsible for propos- ing quality criterions for the concentrations of the precedence substances in surface H2O, deposits or biology ( 31 ) . If the Commission fails to dei¬?ne criterions, this undertaking is passed down to the Member States, but there is no such back-up map if a Member State fails to fuli¬?l its duties, e.g. to dei¬?ne categories for the finding of ecological position for surface Waterss. This duty is non passed on to the Commission or other superior organisation ( 32 ) . The Commission will so hold to utilize the enforcement mechanism prescribed in the EC Treaty, to convey proceedings against the errant Member State before the EC Court of Justice ( 33 ) .

A Transparent Procedure

Making the procedure of legal operationalization of the WFD wa- ter quality aims transparent for affected persons and the general populace is another manner of run intoing a deficit of scien- tii¬?c information. This sort of external reappraisal of the basic information for decision-making is an indispensable and appropriate portion of the process for Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA ) . In the Directive on the appraisal of the effects of certain programs and plans on the environment ( 2001/42/EC ) , plans and plans which are prepared for H2O direction are explicitly within the range of the demand of environmental appraisal.

In really general footings, the Water Directive encourages Member States to advance public engagement in the imple- thinking of the Directive, peculiarly in relation to the river basin direction programs ( art. 14 ) . The Directive besides requires peer reappraisal and public audience before puting environ- mental quality criterions ( annex V 1.2.6 ( four ) ) ( 34 ) .

A crystalline procedure of word picture, analysis, stan- Dard scene and of make up one’s minding on steps for implementing the aims will non merely guarantee the dependability of the basic information, but besides the equity and hence legitimacy of the procedure ( 35 ) . This is of import non merely to histrions that ini¬‚uence the H2O position, but besides to those who depend on a good H2O position. Environmental quality aims and criterions are likely to be called into inquiry if their execution re- sults in immediate costs to persons, by necessitating them to cut down their impact on H2O quality, or through a entire prohibition on certain sorts of activities. Their legitimacy will be farther questioned if the standards and the procedure for puting aims and criterions every bit good as the monitoring and execution of them, differ between disposals, geographical countries and provinces. Legislation can non alter the fact that ecosystems dif- fer in resiliency and hence necessitate different degrees of human consideration to keep or accomplish a certain degree of H2O quality, but it can administer the i¬?nancial loads this causes in a just mode.


The Water Directive and its ecosystem attack is an effort to set up sustainable direction of H2O resources within the European Union. In malice of its bound of legal power one maritime stat mi outside the baseline, the Water Directive will be indispensable for future direction of coastal zones and enclosed sea countries, like the Baltic. The Directive merely provides Member provinces with extremely generalized instructions on how to char- acterize, analyze and proctor H2O resources. More specii¬?c determinations on how to transport out these undertakings are left to the legisla- tors, directors and scientists of single member states. When doing determinations, directors and scientists will depend on right execution of the Directive into national legis- lation by the legislators. National legislators, in bend, will hold to trust on scientists and directors to provide information about H2O quality and how to supervise it. As described in this ar- ticle, both the right of present and future persons to a good H2O position, and the responsibility of persons to take precautional steps, will be ini¬‚uenced by the scientii¬?c and adminis- trative methods by which H2O resources are characterized, analyzed, and monitored under the WFD.

The Water Directive topographic points H2O quality and the demand for improved, more comprehensive monitoring and direction high on the environmental docket, and demands both prompt and dependable replies. It is obvious that the undertakings set out by the Water Directive will necessitate considerable resources, and that these will ever be limited. Insufi¬?cient information, i¬‚awed cognition and nonlinearity of ecosystem response are reali- ties that must be confronted in the operationalization of wa- ter quality aims. When conditions change or information turns out to be erroneous or insufi¬?cient, the legal system must be designed to manage the job, and demand version to new fortunes and information. A feedback mechanism, coercing a responsible authorization to reexamine the earlier operation- alization is one mechanism for procuring the accomplishment of the overruling aim of a good H2O position. To bring forth steering paperss, as done by the Commission, is a less strin- gent manner to promote the Member States to accomplish the H2O

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aims, and is likely more acceptable to nonfederalists. We see it as pressing to develop and set up a crystalline pro- cedure for the whole procedure of operationalization, including the appraisal of the informations used for decision-making. This will non merely guarantee reappraisal and checking of scientii¬?c informations and con- clusions, but besides promote legitimacy and foreseeability for ac- tors, and respect for the involvements of future coevalss ( 36 ) .

Mentions and Notes

1. Directing 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 Octo- ber 2000 Establishing a Model for Community Action in the Field of Water Policy. OJ L 327, 22/12/2000 P. 0001-0073.

2. Chave, P. 2001. The EU Water Framework Directive. An Introduction. IWA Pub- lishing, London, 208 pp.

3. Elmgren, R. and Gipperth, L. 2002. The EU Water Framework Directive and the Coast -Possibilities and Misgivings. SUCOZOMA Annual study 2002, 5-8 hypertext transfer protocol: //

4. The European Union is based on three pillars,

1. The European Community ( EC ) ,

2. Intergovernmental cooperation on common foreign and security policy, and

3. Intergovernmental cooperation on justness and place personal businesss.

Because the legislative powers of the EU establishments merely derive from the EC, it

is common to speak about EC jurisprudence, non EU jurisprudence.

5. Westerlund, S. 1997. A Sustainable Legal System. IUSTUS Forlag, Uppsala. ( In

Swedish ) .

6. Westerlund, S. 2004. Basic Issues of Environmental Law 2.0. IUSTUS Forlag,

Uppsala. ( In Swedish ) .

7. Gipperth, L. 1999. Environmental Quality Standards. A Survey in Environmental

Law Methodology on Operationalization of Environmental Goals. Doctoral The-

sis, Uppsala University, Sweden. Repro Ekonomikum. ( In Swedish, with English sum-up ) .

8. Gipperth, L. 2003. Environmental quality and predictability. In: Environmental Law in Transition. Bjorkman, U. and Michanek, G. ( explosive detection systems ) . IUSTUS Forlag, Up- psala, pp. 205-242. ( In Swedish ) .

9. Christensen, J. 1999. Law and Ecocycles. Surveies of the Preconditions for Legal Control of the Flow of Natural Resources, applied to phosphoric. IUSTUS For- slowdown, Uppsala. ( In Swedish ) ( Summary in English ) .

10. A dei¬?nition of the ecosystem attack is given in the Convention of Biological Diversity. A similar analysis of the ecosystem attack of the Water Directive is given by:

Mee, L.D. 2004. Assessment and monitoring demands for the adaptative man- agement of Europe ‘s regional seas. In: Pull offing European Seashores: Past, Present and Future. Vermaat, L.E. , Ledoux, L.C, Salomons, W. , Turner, K. ( explosive detection systems ) . Spring- er Press, Berlin.

11. For Sweden, implementing the directive non merely entails alterations in statute law, but besides replacing an ancient administrative system, dating back at least to Axel Oxenstierna in the seventeenth century, with an wholly new H2O disposal based on natural river basins.

12. The Water Directive allows for several types of freedoms from and postpone- ments of the demand to accomplish good H2O position. If accomplishing good eco- logical position for a waterbody is deemed impossible because the H2O has been to a great extent modii¬?ed or is artii¬?cial, an alternate demand – good ecological po- tential – is applied. As a general regulation, H2O quality should non be allowed to de- teriorate from present conditions.

13. Gipperth, L. 2002. The Water Framework Directive – a measure frontward for protect- ing H2O resources in the European Union? In: A Bird ‘s View of the Legal System. Vanbok boulder clay Staffan Westerlund. Basse, E.M. , Ebbesson, J. and Michanek, G. ( explosive detection systems ) . IUSTUS Forlag, pp. 467-489. ( In Swedish ) .

14. Grimeaud, D. 2001. Reforming EU H2O jurisprudence: Towards sustainability? European

Environmental Law Rev. 10, 41-51.

15. See e.g. Case 361/88 Commission v. Germany [ 1991 ] ECR I-2567, Cases 13/90

and 14/90 Commission v. France [ 1991 ] ECR I-4327 and 4331. Harmonizing to the

EU Treaty, each province is obliged to present statute law supplying instruments,

which warrant that good H2O position will be achieved, in conformity with the

demands set out in the Water Directive. It should be noted that Member States

are at autonomy to put a higher degree of aspiration than required by the Directive. For

illustration, there is no legal demand to do an freedom from the demand for good H2O position, merely because the Directive would let it.

16. Carlman, I. 2004. The regulation of sustainability and planning adaptivity. Ambio 34,


17. The legal attack used in the WFD is comparable to the 1 used in the U.S.

Clean Water Act. A difference is that the WFD neither explicitly demands puting

a maximal allowable entire day-to-day burden nor requires that it be decided how this burden

is to be apportioned to different human beginnings. Such issues are left for Member

provinces to make up one’s mind on.

18. Westerlund ( 4 ) describes this method of ordinance as reactor-related in contrast

to actor-related statute law. Gipperth ( 6 ) provides standards for a legal operational-

ization of environmental quality aims. She likens environmental quality ordinances to general pilotage regulations, which need to be combined with guidance regulations, directed to histrions. A comparative analysis of the theoretical reactor related attack and the legal methodological analysis used in the WFD is done in Gipperth ( 12 ) .

19. Guidance paperss can be found at the WFD CIRCA ( Communication Informa- tion Resource Centre Administrator ) Website set up by the Commission, in ac- cordance with the understanding on the Common Implementation Strategy for the Water Framework Directive.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

20. Irvine, K. 2004. Classifying ecological position under the European Water Frame-

work Directive: the demand for supervising to account for natural variableness. Aquat.

Conserv. Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 14, 107-112.

21. Hansson, M. and Hakansson, B. 2004. Classii¬?cation of types of Swedish transi-

tional and coastal Waterss harmonizing to the Water Framework Directive. Swedish

Meteorological and Hydrological Institute Report. Dnr 2002/17961/1933. ( In

Swedish ) .

22. Unlike in lakes, watercourses and river oral cavities ( “ transitional Waterss ” ) , the i¬?sh community is non a needed standard for finding of the ecological position of coastal Waterss. However, nil prevents Sweden from using this standard besides in coastal Waterss, to stress that the position of i¬?sh stocks is an of import facet of H2O quality besides in coastal Waterss.

23. Samuelsson, K. , Edler, L. , Hajdu, S. and Andersson, A. 2004. Evaluation standards for seashore and sea harmonizing to the EU Water Framework Directive. Phytoplank- ton. Manuscript Report, Swedish Environment Protection Agency ( 2004-01-12 ) . ( In Swedish ) .

24. Kautsky, L. , Andersson, C. and Dahlgren, S. 2004. Development of new evalua- tion standards for seashore and sea harmonizing to the demands of the Water Framework Directive. Proposed Ecological Quality Ratio ( EQR ) for the biological parametric quantity macrovegetation. Manuscript Report, Swedish Environment Protection Agency ( 2004-01-12 ) . ( In Swedish ) .

25. Blomqvist, M. , Cederwall, H. , Nilsson, H.C. and Rosenberg, R. 2004. Develop- ment of new rating standards for seashore and sea harmonizing to the demands of the Water Framework Directive – Benthic invertebrates. Manuscript Report, Swedish Environment Protection Agency ( 2004-01-12 ) . ( In Swedish ) .

26. Sahlsten, E. and Hansson, M. 2004. Development of new rating standards for seashore and sea harmonizing to the demands of the Water Framework Directive – Physico-chemical factors. Manuscript Report, Swedish Environment Protection Agency ( 2004-01-12 ) . ( In Swedish ) .

27. Kampa, E. and Hansen, W. 2004. Heavily Modii¬?ed Water Bodies – Synthesis of

34 Case Studies in Europe. Springer, Berlin, pp. 322.

28. Thurow, F. 1997. Appraisal of the entire i¬?sh biomass in the Baltic Sea during the

twentieth century. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 54, 444-461.

29. Larsson, U. , Elmgren, R. and Wulff, F. 1985. Eutrophication and the Baltic Sea

Causes and effects. Ambio 14, 9-14.

30. Elmgren, R. and Larsson, U. 2001. Nitrogen and the Baltic Sea: Pull offing nitro-

gen in relation to phosphorus. Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and

Energy Production and Environmental Protection. Proc. 2nd International Nitro-

gen Conference on Science and Policy. The Scientii¬?cWorld 1 ( S2 ) , 371-377.

31. One might nevertheless oppugn if the committee would hold the resources and

local cognition to take such duty.

32. The Commission shall ease intercalibration exercisings in order to guarantee that

the category boundaries established are consistent with the normative dei¬?nitions in

Section 1.2 and are comparable between Member States. ( Annex V, 1.4.1 ( four ) ) . The

Commission shall besides, harmonizing to art. 16 ( 7 ) , propose quality criterions for the

concentrations of the precedence substances in surface H2O, deposits or biology.

33. It is interesting to compare this state of affairs with e.g. the U.S. Clean Air Act, where

the duty for make up one’s minding on an execution program is transferred to the

federal EPA if the province fails.

34. This proviso concerns deducing environmental quality criterions for pollutants

listed in points 1 to 9 of Annex VIII for the protection of aquatic biology, and it is

unsure if it can be broadened to besides affect other state of affairss.

35. Lundqvist, L.J. 2004. Integrating Swedish Water Resource Management: a multi-

degree administration trilemma. Local Environ. 9, 413-424.

36. This work was supported by the Sustainable Coastal Zone Management plan

of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, ( MISTRA ) .

We thank S. Westerlund and U. Larsson for valuable treatments and remarks

on bill of exchanges.

Lena Gipperth has a LL.D. in environmental jurisprudence from Uppsala University. She works as a senior lector and a manager of Center for Environmental Regulation and Sustainable Development ( CER ) at the Department of Law, Goteborg University. She is involved in several multidisciplinary research undertakings refering ordinance of the accomplishment of environmental quality aims. Her reference: Department of Law, Goteborg University, Box 650, SE-405 30 Goteborg, Sweden. lena.gipperth @

Ragnar Elmgren is professor of brackish H2O ecology at Stockholm University. He has studied Baltic Sea ecosystems and benthal ecology, in- cluding the effects of oil pollution and eutrophica- tion for 35 old ages. He has ever been interested in how scientii¬?c information is used, misused or ig- nored in environmental direction. His reference: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm Univer- sity, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. ragnar.elmgren @


A© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2005

Ambio Vol. 34, No. 2, March 2005


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