Draft PPS14: Sustainable Development in the Countryside
Policy Context: Water Framework Directive
2.5 In addition to the existing water directives, the European Commission introduced a new framework for community action in the field of water policy known as the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EEC) in 2000. The Water Framework Directive is the most substantial piece of EC water legislation to date providing an overarching framework for all of the existing Water Directives. This Directive has been transposed into NI legislation by the Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 .
2.6 The Directive sets a framework for comprehensive management of water resources in the European Community, within a common approach and with common objectives, principles and basic measures. It addresses inland surface waters, estuarine and coastal waters and groundwater. The fundamental objective of the Directive is to maintain the “high status” of waters where it exists, prevent any deterioration in the existing status of waters and achieve at least “good status” in relation to all waters by 2015.