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Groundwater Issues

Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the UK and related links


To enable the objectives of the Water Framework Directive to be met requires the transposition of measures into national law. These are implemented through The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2003 in England and Wales . In Scotland it is implemented through The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 and in Northern Ireland through The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003.

Much of the work to implement the Water Framework Directive in the UK will be undertaken by what the Directive refers to as the Competent Authorities. These are the UK environment agencies, the Environment Agency (EA) in England and Wales, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in Northern Ireland.

Guidance has been produced at European and UK levels to help with the implementation of the Directive and to ensure a common approach. At the European level the guidance has been developed as a result of a Common Implementation Strategy.

Guidance at the UK level is provided by the UK Technical Advisory Group. It includes the UK environment and countryside agencies, along with representatives from the Republic of Ireland. Its key tasks are: to provide technical advice to the UK Administrations; co-ordinate the UK Agencies' input to the development of European Guidance; and develop guidance and methods to support the consistent implementation of the Directive by the UK Agencies. These tasks are carried out through sub-groups covering groundwater, rivers, lakes and tidal waters.

WFD links

The implementation of the Water Framework Directive is in full swing. For useful background material and up-to-date information on what progress has been made, please use the following links to Water Framework Directive web sites.

Back to the Main Water Framework Directive page

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