Criteria for the assessment of processes for sustainable river basin management and their congruence with the EU Water Framework Directive

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Series Details Vol.18, No.4, July-August 2008, p228-242
Publication Date July 2008
ISSN 0961-0405
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Abstract: In order to manage the increasing pressure on the world's water resources, new planning methodologies/processes for sustainable river basin management are currently being developed. For such processes to work well, however, the legal context must allow, or support, such processes. In this study, a set of criteria relating to methodologies/processes for sustainable water management is used to assess the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). The study suggests that the WFD erects few formal barriers to good planning practices. However, planning processes will need to be adapted to compensate for the weak legal support in a number of important areas, namely the use of knowledge from beyond the natural sciences, the use of methodologies for the explicit handling of values and the use of procedures for democratic participation. In so doing the issues identified here provide a basis for systematic thinking about how to design the necessary planning processes.

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