River Basin Management

Water does not stop at administrative or political boundaries, so the best way to protect and manage water is by close international co-operation between all the countries within the natural hydrological unit of the river basin – bringing together all interests upstream and downstream.

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) establishes a legal framework to protect and enhance the status of aquatic ecosystems; prevent their deterioration and ensure long-term, sustainable use of water resources. The Directive provides for an innovative approach for water management based on river basins, the natural geographical and hydrological units, and sets specific deadlines for EU Member States. The WFD addresses inland surface waters (rivers and lakes), transitional waters, coastal waters, groundwater and, under specific conditions, water dependent terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands.

It establishes several integrative principles for water management, including public participation in planning and the integration of economic approaches, and also aims for the integration of water management into other policy areas. For better coordination, the WFD calls for the creation of international districts for river basins that cover the territory of more than one EU Member State. EU Member States should aim to achieve good status in all bodies of surface water and groundwater by 2015, respectively by 2027 at the latest.

WFD Relevant Documents


Danube River Basin Management Plan - Update 2021


Coordinating the WFD and the FD (Discussion Paper)


Danube River Basin Management Plan - Update 2015 (including Annexes and Maps)

Links to National RBM Plans

Public Consultation: Final Consultation Report


Update of the Danube Basin Analysis Report (WFD Article 5)

Public Consultation: Interim Overview: Significant Water Management Issues in the DRBD (WFD Article 14)


Interim Report on the Implementation of the Joint Program of Measures in the DRBD (WFD Article 15)

Public Consultation: WFD & EFD: Public Participation Plan (WFD Article 14)


Danube River Basin District Management Plan (WFD Article 13)

Public Consultation: 2009 Draft DRBM Plan (WFD Article 14)


Significant Water Management Issues in the DRBD (WFD Article 14)


Summary Report on Monitoring Programmes in the DRBD (WFD Article 8)


Danube Basin Analysis Report (WFD Article 5)


Report on Competent Authorities for the DRBD (WFD Article 3)


EU Water Framework Directive

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