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REPORT     
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8 July 1998
PE 225.956/fin. A4-0261/98
on the proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C4-0120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN))
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection
Rapporteur: Mr Ian White
By letter of 6 May 1997 the Council consulted Parliament, pursuant to Article 189C of the EC Treaty and Article 130S, para 1 of the EC Treaty, on the proposal for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.
 A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 B. EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION
 OPINION

 By letter of 6 May 1997 the Council consulted Parliament, pursuant to Article 189C of the EC Treaty and Article 130S, para 1 of the EC Treaty, on the proposal for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

By letter of 3 December 1997 and 20 February 1998 the Council consulted Parliament, pursuant to Article 189C of the EC Treaty and Article 130S, para 1 of the EC Treaty, on the amended proposals for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy.

At the sitting of 14 May 1997 the President of Parliament announced that he had referred this proposal to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection as the committee responsible and the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Fisheries (10 June 1997) and the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy (1 October 1997) and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (30 March 1998) for their opinions.

At its meeting of 21 May 1997 the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection had appointed Mr White rapporteur.

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection considered the Commission proposal and the draft report at its meetings of 19 March and 24 June 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution unanimously with four abstentions.

The following took part in the vote: Collins, chairman; Poggiolini, Dybkjær and Lannoye, vicechairmen; White, rapporteur; Apolinário, Blokland, Bowe, Breyer, Cabrol, Correia (for Díez de Rivera Icaza), De Coene (for Graenitz), Eisma, Florenz, González Álvarez, Grossetête, Holm (for McKenna pursuant to Rules 138(2)), Hulthén, Kronberger, Kuhn, Lange (for Jensen K.), Marinucci, Myller (for Kokkola), Needle, Olsson, Oomen-Ruijten, Pollack, van Putten, Roth-Behrendt, Schleicher, Schnellhardt, Sjöstedt (for Bertinotti), Tamino, Trakatellis, Valverde López, Virgin and Whitehead.

The opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy, the Committee on Fisheries and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development are attached.

The report was tabled on 8 July 1998.

The deadline for tabling amendments will be indicated in the draft agenda for the relevant partsession.


 A LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL DRAFT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C4-0120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN))

The proposal is approved with the following amendments:

Texts proposed by the Commission(1)(2)(3)

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 1(a) (new)

Whereas water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which belongs to the peoples of the European Union and which must be protected, defended and treated as such;

(Amendment 2)
Recital 2(a) (new)

Whereas good water quality will secure the drinking water supply for the population;

(Amendment 3)
Recital 5(a) (new)

Whereas on 29 May 1995 the Commission adopted a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the Wise use and Conservation of Wetlands which recognised wetlands as ecosystems of paramount importance because of the important functions they perform for the protection of water resources and recommended the development of Community policy on integrated water management with respect to both quality and quantity;

(Amendment 4)
Recital 11(a) (new)

Whereas any effective and coherent water policy must take account of the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems located near coasts or estuaries or in gulfs or relatively closed seas, as their equilibrium is strongly influenced by the quality of the river basin water flowing into them;

(Amendment 5)
Recital 13(a) (new)

Whereas coastal fisheries, despite taking place outside river basins, should be recognized as being one of the economic activities most affected by all forms of environmental deterioration within such basins;

(Amendment 6)
Recital 18(a)

Whereas the precautionary principle and the principle of prevention at source require that pollution through the discharge of various dangerous substances must be eliminated; whereas the Council should, on a proposal by the Commission, agree on the substances to be considered for action as a priority; whereas the Council should, on proposals from the Commission, adopt measures for progressive elimination of pollution by those substances, taking into account all significant sources and the cost-effectiveness and proportionality of the available reduction options;

Whereas the precautionary principle and the principle of prevention at source require that pollution through the discharge of all pollutants or groups of pollutants presenting an unacceptable risk to the environment and/or human population must be eliminated; whereas the Council and the European Parliament should, on a proposal by the Commission, submitted by 31 December 1998 and added to and reviewed at least every three years, agree on the substances to be considered for action as a priority; whereas the Council and the European Parliament should, on proposals from the Commission, adopt measures for progressive elimination of pollution by those substances, taking into account all sources; aiming at the goal of reducing the load of hazardous substances by 50% by 2010, by 75% by 2015 and by close to zero by 2020 on a 1995 basis;

(Amendment 7)
Recital 19

Whereas common principles are needed in order to coordinate Member States' efforts to improve water quantity and quality, to promote sustainable water consumption, to contribute to the control of transboundary pollution problems, to protect ecosystems, in particular aquatic ecosystems, and to safeguard the recreational potential of Community waters;

Whereas common principles are needed in order to coordinate Member States' efforts to improve water quantity and quality, to promote sustainable water consumption, to contribute to the control of transboundary pollution problems, to protect ecosystems, in particular aquatic and wetland ecosystems, and to safeguard the recreational potential of Community waters; whereas reference should be made to HELCOM, OSPAR and the Fourth North Sea Conference (Esbjerg Declaration §17), Barcelona Convention;

(Amendment 8)
Recital 20

Whereas common definitions of the status of water in terms of quality and quantity should be established; whereas environmental objectives should be set to ensure that good status of surface water and groundwater is achieved at Community level;

Whereas common definitions of the status of water in terms of quality and quantity should be established; whereas environmental objectives should be set to ensure that good status of surface water and groundwater is achieved throughout the Community and that deterioration in the status of waters is avoided at Community level;

(Amendment 9)
Recital 29

Whereas further integration of sustainable water management into other Community policy areas and, in particular, into agriculture policy, regional policy and fisheries policy is necessary; whereas this Directive will provide a basis for a continued dialogue and for the development of strategies towards a further integration of policy areas; whereas this Directive will therefore bring an important contribution to implementing the main principles and objectives of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP);

Whereas further integration of sustainable water management into other Community policy areas and, in particular, into agriculture policy, regional policy, tourism policy and fisheries policy is necessary; whereas the proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision on an action programme for integrated groundwater protection and management (COM(96)315 of 10 July 1996) makes a significant contribution in this area; whereas this Directive will provide a basis for a continued dialogue and for the development of strategies towards a further integration of policy areas; whereas this Directive will therefore bring an important contribution to implementing the main principles and objectives of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP);

(Amendment 10)
Recital 30(a) (new)

Whereas should natural disasters such as droughts or floods occur, it could prove difficult if not impossible to achieve good status of water and whereas, therefore, provision should be made to allow for the granting an additional deadline in the implementation of environmental protection measures;

(Amendment 11)
Recital 35

Whereas the Commission should present annually an updated plan for possible future initiatives which it is planning or considering for the water sector;

Whereas the Commission should publish annually an updated plan for possible future initiatives which it is planning or considering for the water sector; and biennially, a report on the implementation of this Directive;

(Amendment 12)
Recital 37, first paragraph

Whereas the implementation of programmes of measures for river basins under this Directive will achieve a level of protection of waters at least equivalent to that provided for in:

Whereas the implementation of programmes of measures for river basins under this Directive shall achieve a level of protection of waters at least equivalent to that provided for in:

(Amendment 13)
Recital 37(a) (new)

Whereas before the legislative measures under Article 26 are repealed with effect from 31 December 2007, steps must be taken to ensure that the new provisions:- guarantee at the least the same level of protection and- have already been transposed into national law by all Member States;

(Amendment 14)
Recital 37(b) (new)

Whereas the principle of sound water policy should not be permanently waived purely to promote the sustainable development of an economic region as a whole;

(Amendment 15)
Recital 38(a) (new)

Whereas there is no natural right to the discharge of hazardous or radioactive substances into water, whereas scientific and technical progress allows for the application of progressively less polluting production technologies;

(Amendment 16)
Recital 38(b) (new)

Whereas, except in emergency situations, human water demands in a hydrological area or river basin should be satisfied with the available water resources in the basin;

(Amendment 17)
Article 1(a)(i)
Purpose

(i) prevents further deterioration and protects and enhances the status of aquatic ecosystems and, with regard to their water needs, terrestrial ecosystems;

(i) prevents further deterioration and protects and enhances the status of associated aquatic and wetland ecosystems and ensures the water needs of terrestrial ecosystems;

(Amendment 18)
Article 1(a)(ii)
Purpose

(ii) promotes sustainable water consumption based on long-term protection of available water resources;

(ii) promotes sustainable and efficient water use based on long-term protection of available water resources within a hydrological area or river basin;

(Amendment 19)
Article 1(a)(iia)(new)

(iia) phase out the discharges, emissions, and losses of hazardous substances into the aquatic environment by the year 2020;

(Amendment 20)
Article 1 - Purpose - Paragraph (a)(iib) (new)

(iib) helps to alleviate the adverse effects of flooding and drought.

(Amendment 21)
Article 1(b)

(b) for territorial and other marine water, incorporates the requirements for protection established in other Community legislation and pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,

(b) for territorial and other marine water, incorporates the requirements for protection established in other Community legislation and pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,

and thereby contributes to the provision of a supply of water of the qualities and in the quantities needed for sustainable use of these resources.

and thereby contributes to the stable management of water resources with a view to providing all the uses required for sustainable development.

(Amendment 22)
Article 1(ba) (new)

ba. phases out gradually the discharges, emissions and losses of hazardous substances into the aquatic environment by the year 2020 to near zero levels with intermediate aims of a 50% reduction in 2010 and a 75% reduction in 2015;

(Amendment 23)
Article 2(7)(a) (new)

"Aquifer” means a subsurface layer or layers of rock of sufficient porosity and permeability to allow a significant flow of groundwater and the abstraction of significant quantities of water.

(Amendment 24)
Article 2(7)(b) (new)

"Body of groundwater” means a hydrogeologically distinct volume of groundwater within an aquifer or aquifers.

(Amendment 25)
Article 2(12)(a) (new)

"Combined approach" means reduction of emissions, initially in accordance with best available technologies (BAT), then examination, of whether the water quality which is achieved satisfies the environmental quality objectives laid down in this directive and whether further measures over and above BAT are needed.

(Amendment 26)
Article 2(17)

"Ecological status" is an expression of the quality of the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems associated with surface waters. It takes into account the physico-chemical nature of the water and sediment, the flow characteristics of the water and the physical structure of the water body, but it concentrates on the condition of the biological elements of the ecosystem.

"Ecological status" is an expression of the quality of the structure and functioning of aquatic and wetland ecosystems associated with surface waters. It takes into account the physico-chemical nature of the water and sediment, the flow characteristics of the water and the physical structure of the water body, but it concentrates on the condition of the biological elements of the ecosystem.

(Amendment 27)
Article 2(22)

"High chemical status” means the chemical status achieved by a body of water in which no pollutants are present in levels in excess of natural background levels.

"High chemical status” means the chemical status achieved by a body of water in which no pollutants or groups of pollutants, identified as posing an unacceptable risk to the environment, are present at a concentration exceeding the level at which it can be detected.

(Amendment 28)
Article 2(23)

"Good chemical status" means the chemical status achieved by a body of water in which concentrations of pollutants do not exceed the environmental quality standards established in Annex IX and under Article 21(6), and under other relevant Community legislation setting environmental quality standards, and in which the trends in monitoring data do not suggest that such environmental quality standards will be exceeded in the future.

"Good surface water chemical status” means the chemical status achieved by a body of surface water in which concentrations of pollutants do not exceed the environmental quality standards established in Annex IX and under Article 21(6), and under other relevant Community legislation setting environmental quality standards, and in which the trends in monitoring data do not suggest that such environmental quality standards will be exceeded in the future.

Good chemical status is the chemical status required to meet the environmental objectives for surface waters and groundwaters established in points (a) and (b) of Article 4(1).

Good surface water chemical status is the chemical status required to meet the environmental objectives for surface waters established in point (a) of Article 4.1.

(Amendment 29)
Article 2(23)(a) (new)

'Good groundwater chemical status' means an only insignificantly anthropogenically polluted groundwater and the chemical status achieved by a body of groundwater in which the concentrations of pollutants do not exceed the environmental quality standards in relevant Community legislation setting environmental quality standards, such as 91/676/EC, 97/57/EC and Biocide Directive and in which the concentrations of pollutants do not result in any significant diminution of the ecological quality of associated surface water bodies, or in any significant damage to associated terrestrial ecosystems, and for which monitoring data do not exhibit any trend likely to result in the exceedance of such environmental quality standards or such loss of ecological quality in associated surface waters, of such damage to associated terrestrial ecosystems.

(Amendment 30)
Article 2(24)

"Quantitative status" is an expression of the degree to which a body of groundwater is permanently depleted by direct and indirect abstractions and alterations to its natural rate of recharge.

"Quantitative status” is an expression of the degree to which a body of groundwater is unsustainably depleted as a result of direct and indirect abstractions in excess of the available groundwater resource.

(Amendment 31)
Article 2(24)(a) (new)

"Available groundwater resource” means the long term annual average rate of overall recharge of the body of groundwater less the long term annual average rate of flow required so as not to prejudice the achievement by surface waters of the environmental objectives under Article 4. and to avoid any significant damage to associated terrestrial ecosystems.

(Amendment 32)
Article 2(26)

"Good quantitative status" means the quantitative status achieved by a body of groundwater in which abstractions and alterations to the natural rate of recharge are sustainable in the long term without leading to loss of ecological quality in associated surface waters or damage to associated terrestrial ecosystems.

"Good quantitative status” means the quantitative status achieved by a body of groundwater in which the available groundwater resource is not exceeded by the current rate of abstraction.

Good quantitative status is the quantitative status required to meet the environmental objectives for groundwaters established in point (b) of Article 4(1).

Good quantitative status is the quantitative status required to meet the environmental objectives for groundwaters established in point (b) of Article 4(1).

(Amendment 33)
Article 2(27)a (new)

"Hazardous substances” means

(i) substances or groups of substances that are toxic, persistent and liable to bioaccumulate.

(ii) other substances or groups of substances which are assessed as requiring a similar approach as substances referred to in (i), even if they do not meet al the criteria for toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, but give rise to concern.

This category will include both substances which work synergistically with other substances to generate such concern, and also substances which do not themselves justify inclusion, but which degrade or transform into substances referred to in (i) or substances which require a similar approach.

(Amendment 34)
Article 2(30)

"Environmental quality standard” means the concentration of a particular pollutant or group of pollutants in water, sediment or biota which should not be exceeded in order to protect human health and the environment.

"Environmental quality standard” means the concentration of a particular pollutant or group of pollutants or radioactive substances in water, sediment or biota which should not be exceeded in order to protect human health and the environment.

For the purposes of this Directive, environmental quality standards are established at a Community level in Annex IX and pursuant to Article 21(6). In addition, environmental quality standards shall be established by Member States pursuant to Article 8(2) in respect of waters used for the abstraction of drinking water, pursuant to Article 13(3)(d) in respect of waters failing to achieve good ecological status, and pursuant to Article 21(6) in respect of priority substances for which no Community standards have yet been set. All these environmental quality standards shall be regarded as environmental quality standards for the purposes of point 7 of Article 2 and Article 10 of Directive 96/61/EC.

For the purposes of this Directive, environmental quality standards are established at a Community level in Annex IX and pursuant to Article 21(6). In addition, environmental quality standards shall be established by Member States pursuant to Article 8(2) in respect of waters used for the abstraction of drinking water, pursuant to Article 13(3)(d) in respect of waters failing to achieve good ecological status. All these environmental quality standards shall be regarded as environmental quality standards for the purposes of point 7 of Article 2 and Article 10 of Directive 96/61/EC.

(Amendment 35)
Article 3(3) second paragraph

Member States shall jointly ensure that appropriate administrative arrangements, including the designation of appropriate competent authorities, are established to ensure that the application of the rules of this Directive is coordinated and overseen within such international River Basin Districts.

Member States shall jointly ensure that appropriate administrative arrangements, including the designation of appropriate administrative authorities, which either are involved in an international cooperation or constitute an international body, are established to ensure that the application of the rules of this Directive is coordinated and overseen within such international River Basin Districts. The Member States shall ensure that the management authorities of the River Basin District have the standing and capacity to deal with the management of the river area in order to simplify the transboundary aspects.

(Amendment 36)
Article 3(3) first subparagraph a (new)

Various international river basin districts may be grouped together in order to carry out integrated action and joint physical planning at European level designed to draw up a transEuropean water management plan.

(Amendment 37)
Article 3(5)

Member States may designate existing national or international bodies as competent authorities for the purposes of this Directive. In such cases, they shall ensure that the resulting competent authorities have the powers and authority needed to meet the obligations imposed by this Directive.

Member States may designate existing national or international bodies as competent authorities for the purposes of this Directive. In such cases, they shall ensure that the resulting competent authorities have the powers and authority needed to meet the obligations imposed by this Directive. In the case of river basins which extend over international boundaries, priority must be given to maintaining the structures stemming from existing international agreements.

(Amendment 38)
Article 3(a) (new)

River Basin District Management Plans1. Member States shall ensure that within each River Basin District a River Basin District Management Plan covering the whole of the River Basin District is produced by 31 December 2004. The main purpose of the River Basin District Management Plan shall be to describe the programme of measures which is envisaged as necessary by the River Basin District Management Authority in order to achieve the environmental objectives specified under Article 4.

2. Member States shall ensure that each River Basin District Management Plan is reviewed and updated by 31 December 2010 and at least every six years thereafter.

3. In producing, reviewing and updating each River Basin District Management Plan the River Basin District Management Authority shall encourage the active involvement of all interested parties. In particular each River Basin District Management Authority shall consider the views of interested parties in:

i deciding the scope and scale of data and information to be collected for the analyses required under Article 3a.6;ii setting the Environmental Objectives to be established in accordance with Article 4; andiii establishing the programme of measures in accordance with Article 13.

4. Member States shall ensure that for each River Basin District Management Plan the River Basin District Management Authority:i publishes and widely promotes at least three years prior to the period to which the plan relates:

a) a timetable and work programme for the production of the Plan ; andb) a statement describing the measures which will be taken to achieve active involvement and consultation of all interested parties in the production of each River Basin District Management Plan.

ii publishes and ensures public access to an interim statement of the significant issues identified for consideration in the River Basin District Management Plan at least two years before the beginning of the period to which the plan refers; and

iii publishes and ensures public access to a draft River Basin District Management Plan, and a database of associated background information, at least one year before the beginning of the period to which the plan refers; and

iv allows at least nine months for comments in writing to be submitted by interested parties.

v publishes the River Basin District Management Plan by 31 December 2004

vi publishes an annual report describing progress against the planned programme of measures described in the River Basin District Management Plan on each anniversary of the publication date of the River Basin District Management Plan

5. The River Basin District Management Plan may be supplemented by the production of more detailed programmes and management plans to deal with particular aspects of water management including:

i river sub-basins, groundwaters, coastal waters and territorial or marine waters;ii particular sectors of the economy;iii particular water issues; andiv particular classes or types of water or particular ecosystems.

These programmes and management plans do not exempt Member States from their obligations to prepare River Basin District Management Plans. Reference to these more detailed programmes and management plans shall be made in the River Basin District Management Plan.

6. To develop the River Basin District Management Plan the River Basin District Management Authority shall gather data of sufficient quantity and quality in order to:

i produce analyses of the physical characteristics of the River Basin District in accordance with Article 5, the environmental impact of human activity in accordance with Article 6 and the economics of water use in accordance with Article 7;

ii identify waters intended for the abstraction of drinking water in accordance with Article 8;

iii prepare a register of Protected Areas in accordance with Article 9;

iv evaluate the implications and significance of the objectives of this Directive for the River Basin District;

v identify the significant issues for the River Basin District; and

vi develop and make operational a programme of measures in accordance with Article 13.

7. The information in Annex VII shall be included within the draft version and the final version of the River Basin District Management Plan.

(Amendment 39)
Article 3(b) (new)

Restriction of discharge intosurface waters

a. Member States shall restrict discharges into surface waters through a combined approach. The discharge limit values shall be set on the basis of current technology, as set out in Directive 91/271/EEC and 96/61/EEC and other emissions directives. For substances listed in Annex VIII of the water framework directive (priority substances) the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, shall set Community-wide uniform discharge limit values (emissions standards). Further measures shall be taken when the restriction of discharge on the basis of current technology is not sufficient to satisfy the water quality objectives pursuant to Article 4.

b. Member States shall ensure that discharges into surface waters are subject to authorization and the establishment of discharge limit values. The restriction of discharge shall be achieved through the combined approach.

(Amendment 40)
Article 4(1)
Environmental Objectives

1. Member States shall draw up and make operational within a comprehensive River Basin Management Plan the programmes of measures envisaged as necessary, in order to:

1. Member States shall ensure that the River Basin District Management Authorities make operational the programme of measures specified in the River Basin District Management Plans. The objectives of the plans shall be to:

(Amendment 41)
Article 4(1)(a)

(a) prevent deterioration of ecological quality and pollution of surface waters and restore polluted surface waters, in order to achieve good surface water status in all surface waters by 31 December 2010;

(a) protect, enhance and restore surface waters in order to achieve good status in all bodies of surface water by 31 December 2010;

(Amendment 42)
Article 4(1)(aa) (new)

aa. prevent deterioration in the status of all surface waters;

(Amendment 43)
Article 4(1)(ab) (new)

ab. achieve the ultimate aim of concentrations in the environment near background values for naturally occurring substances and close to zero concentrations for man-made synthetic substances;

(Amendment 44)
Article 4(1)(b)

(b) prevent deterioration of groundwater quality, restore polluted groundwater, and ensure a balance between abstraction and recharge of groundwater, in order to achieve good groundwater status in all groundwaters by 31 December 2010; and

(b) protect, enhance and restore groundwater in order to achieve good groundwater status in all bodies of groundwater by 31 December 2010; and

(Amendment 45)
Article 4(1)(ba) (new)

ba. prevent deterioration of groundwater quality in all groundwaters;

(Amendment 46)
Article 4(1)(d)

(d) eliminate pollution of the waters by certain pollutants in accordance with point (h) of Article 13(3);

(d) eliminate pollution of the waters by certain pollutants in accordance with point (h) of Article 13(3) under consideration of a plan consisting of a step by step reduction 50% until 2010, 75% until 2015 and zero until 2020 on the basis of emissions evaluated on the basis of the requirements in Article 6(1);

(Amendment 47)
Article 4(1)(e)

(e) comply with all requirements in other Community legislation for territorial and other marine waters, and take all measures consistent with international law necessary to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from any source, using for this purpose the best practicable means at their disposal and in accordance with their capabilities.

(e) comply with all requirements in other Community legislation for territorial and other marine waters, and take all measures consistent with international law necessary to prevent, reduce, control and work towards the elimination of pollution of the marine environment from any source,

(Amendment 48)
Article 4(3)(a)

(a) natural conditions do not allow rapid improvements in the status of the body of water;

(a) natural conditions or the occurrence of any natural disasters such as droughts or floods do not allow rapid improvements in the status of the body of water;

(Amendment 49)
Article 4(4)(a)

(a) the body of water is severely affected by human activity and improvements in status are proven to be impossible or prohibitively expensive;

(a) the body of water is, or will be within the period to which the River Basin District Management Plan refers, severely affected by human activity;

the human activity is necessary for the purposes of the protection of human health, or for the maintenance of human safety or for the purposes of sustainable development within the economic area in which the body of water is located; and

the objectives of the human activity cannot be achieved by other means, where such other means:are a better practical environmental option;do not result in disproportionate expense; andwhich are achievable within the period to which the River Basin District Management Plan refers.

(Amendment 50)
Article 4(4b) (new)

4b. Should a body of water be affected by a state of drought, the Member States may adopt temporary derogations from the environmental objectives set out in paragraph 1 for the duration of the period of drought.

(Amendment 51)
Article 4(4)(b)

(b) the environmental objectives are established so as to ensure no further deterioration in status in order not to compromise the achievement of the objectives of this Directive in other bodies of water within the same River Basin District;

(b) such less stringent environmental objectives are established at a level which:does not compromise the achievement of the objectives of this Directive in other bodies of water within the same River Basin District; andwhich represents a water status no more than slightly below the highest which could be achieved given the unavoidable impact of the human activity.

(Amendment 52)
Article 4(4)(c)

(c) the establishment of less stringent environmental objectives, and the reasons for it, are specifically mentioned in the River Basin Management Plan required under Article 16;

(c) the establishment of less stringent environmental objectives, and the reasons for it, are specifically mentioned in the River Basin District Management Plan required under Article 16;

(Amendment 53)
Article 5(1)

1. Member States shall ensure that an analysis of the characteristics of each River Basin District is undertaken and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such analyses shall cover the following elements:

1. Member States shall ensure that an analysis of the characteristics of each River Basin District is undertaken in accordance with Annex II and that it is completed no later than five years after the entry into force of this Directive. Such analyses shall cover the following elements:

(a) the geographical and geological characteristics of the River Basin District;

(a) the geographical and geological characteristics of the River Basin District;

(b) the hydrographical characteristics of the River Basin District;

(b) the hydrographical characteristics of the River Basin District;

(c) the demographic characteristics of the River Basin District;

(c) the demographic characteristics of the River Basin District;

(d) land use and economic activity within the River Basin District.

(d) land use and economic activity within the River Basin District;

(da) existing reservoirs and dams, classified according to purpose (hydro-electricity generation, water supply, multiple use).

In order to ensure that the maximum use can be made of all available information and to avoid duplication of data collection, cooperation shall be ensured with statistical authorities at national and Community level.

In order to ensure that the maximum use can be made of all available information and to avoid duplication of data collection, cooperation shall be ensured with statistical authorities at national and Community level.

(Amendment 54)
Article 5(2)

2. The technical specifications of Annex II shall, for the purpose of the analysis, be adopted by the Commission by 31 December 1999 at the latest, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 25. The technical specifications shall replace the current Annex II.

Delete

(Amendment 55)
Article 6(1) and (2)

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District, a review of the impact of human activity on the status of surface waters and on groundwater is undertaken and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such reviews shall cover the following elements:

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District, a review of the impact of human activity on the status of surface waters and on groundwater and an assessment of the impact of such activity on the adjoining maritime areas into which the waters of the River Basin District flow are undertaken and that they are completed no later than five years after the entry into force of this Directive. Such reviews shall cover the following elements:

a) estimations of point source pollution;

a) estimations from discharges, emissions and losses of point sources;

b) estimations of diffuse source pollution;

b) estimations from discharges, emissions and losses of diffuse sources;

c) estimations of water abstractions; and

c) estimations of water abstractions; andca) a report on existing reservoirs and dams;

d) an analysis of other anthropogenic influences on the status of water.

d) an analysis of other anthropogenic influences on the status of water;

e) estimation of the environmental deterioration arising from use of the water concerned, especially as regards aquatic ecosystems.

2. The technical specifications of Annex III shall, for the purpose of the review, be adopted by the Commission by 31 December 1999 at the latest, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 25. The technical specifications shall replace the current Annex III.

2. The technical specifications of Annex III shall, for the purpose of the reviews referred to in paragraph 1, be adopted by the Commission by 31 December 1999 at the latest, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 25. The technical specifications shall replace the current Annex III.

(Amendment 56)
Article 7(1)(a)
Economic analysis of water use within the River Basin District

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District an economic analysis of water use is undertaken in order, inter alia, to provide the basic information for the purposes of Article 12, and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such analyses shall cover the following:(a) the abstraction and distribution of fresh water;

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District an economic analysis of water use is undertaken in order, inter alia, to provide the basic information for the purposes of Article 12, and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such analyses shall cover the following:(a) the abstraction (licensed and actual), distribution and use of fresh water;

(Amendment 57)
Article 7(1)(aa) (new)

the collection, discharge and use of rainwater

(Amendment 58)
Article 7(1)(b)

(b) the collection and discharge of waste water;

(b) the collection, discharge and reuse of waste water;

(Amendment 59)
Article 7(1)(e)

(e) long-term forecasts of supply and demand;

(e) long-term forecasts of supply and demand ,broken down for low, medium and high demand scenarios;

(Amendment 60)
Article 7(1)(ea) (new)

long-term forecasts of achievable savings by improvements in water use efficiency, broken down into different sectors of water use, at least into household, industry and agriculture.

(Amendment 61)
Article 8(2)

For each body of water identified under paragraph 1, Member States shall ensure the establishment of environmental quality standards designed to ensure that, under the anticipated water treatment regime, and in accordance with Community legislation, the resulting water will meet the requirements of Directive 80/778/EEC.

For each body of water identified under paragraph 1, the quality standards laid down in Annex V must as a minimum be met in order to ensure that the quality of water is such as to require the least intensive purification treatment possible in order to meet the requirements of Directive 80/778/EEC.

(Amendment 62)
Article 8(2)a (new)

a. The Member States shall present an action plan how they intend to achieve a state of each body of water identified under paragraph 1, so that the treatment facilities could be minimised to meet the requirements of Directive 80/778/EEC. The Action Plan shall emphasise the necessary activities for prevention at source, reduction of pollution from point sources as from diffuse sources.

(Amendment 63)
Article 10(1)

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive review of water status within each River Basin District. For surface waters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the ecological and chemical status. For groundwaters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the chemical and quantitative status. These programmes shall be operational by 31 December 2001. Such monitoring shall cover the elements listed in Annex V.

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive review of water status for each River Basin District, as well as for the adjoining maritime areas into which the waters of the River Basin District flow. For surface waters such programmes shall cover quantitative monitoring of the volume and level or rate of flow, and the ecological and chemical status. For groundwaters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the chemical and quantitative status. These programmes shall be operational by 31 December 2001. Such monitoring shall cover the elements listed in Annex V.

(Amendment 64)
Article 10(2)a (new)

a. The technical specifications shall include the use of standardized methods for analysing and monitoring quality recognized by all the Member States.

(Amendment 65)
Article 12(1)
Charges for the use of water

1. By 2010, Member States shall ensure full cost recovery for all costs for services provided for water uses overall and by economic sectors, broken down at least into households, industry and agriculture.

1. By 2010, Member States shall ensure full cost recovery for all costs for services provided for water uses overall, including abstraction and by economic sectors, broken down at least into households, industry and agriculture.

(Amendment 66)
Article 12(1)(a) (new)

Where it is not possible, or impractical, to calculate the full environmental costs of water use, charges shall be set at a level which encourages the attainment of the environmental objectives of this Directive.

(Amendment 67)
Article 12(1)(b) (new)

in accordance with the polluter pays principle, Member States shall ensure that the charging system provides that users faced with a need to treat their water as a result of another's polluting activities, can fully recover their additional costs from the polluter.

(Amendment 68)
Article 12(2)

2. Following the analysis required under Article 7 and Annex II of methods for calculating the environmental and resource costs and benefits of water use, the Commission shall, where appropriate, come forward with proposals to ensure that environmental and resource costs not covered under paragraph 1 are reflected in the price of water uses.

2. Following the analysis required under Article 7 and Annex II of methods for calculating the environmental and resource costs and benefits of water use, the Commission shall, where appropriate, come forward with proposals to ensure that environmental and resource costs not covered under paragraph 1 are reflected in the price of water uses by 2012.

(Amendment 69)
Article 12(3)(c)

(c) in order to take account of a specific geographical or climatic situation of a region eligible for assistance pursuant to Objectives 1, 5b and 6 of the Structural Funds.

(c) In regions designated as Objective 1, 5b or 6 under the Structural Funds, the water charging schemes established shall still apply but Community assistance, where appropriate, can be used for this purpose.

Exemptions shall be explained in detail in the River Basin Management Plans required under Article 16, and a detailed explanation shall be sent to the Commission within six months of the entry into force of those exemptions.

A detailed explanation of the basis for any exemptions, and details of any exemptions granted, shall be sent to the Commission within six months of their entry into force and published in the River Basin District Management Plans.

(Amendment 70)
Article 13(1)
Programmes of measures

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment within each River Basin District of a programme of measures designed to achieve the environmental objectives established under Article 4. A programme of measures shall be part of each River Basin Management Plan in accordance with Article 16. In drawing up and carrying out these programmes, Member States shall adhere to the environmental results required pursuant to Directive 76/464/EEC.

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment within each River Basin District of a programme of measures designed to achieve the environmental objectives established under Article 4. A programme of measures shall be part of each River Basin District Management Plan in accordance with Article 16. In drawing up and carrying out these programmes, Member States shall take all appropriate steps to implement measures in respect of substances for which measures are or are required to be taken under 3 (f) below or Article 21 in such a way that they do not increase the pollution of waters to which the Directive does not apply. The application of such measures may on no account lead, either directly or indirectly, to increased pollution of surface and/or territorial waters.

(Amendment 71)
Article 13(3)(d)

(d) the following measures shall apply to all bodies of water having a status "below good":

(d) the following measures shall apply to all bodies of water failing to achieve the environmental quality objectives set under Article 4:

(i) more intensive monitoring of the extent and nature of the pollution within the body of water;

(i) investigation of the causes of the water body failing to achieve the environmental objectives, including consideration of the hydromorphological and physicochemical condition of the water body;

(ii) establishment of environmental quality standards for the pollutants thus identified, designed to ensure that the objective set under Article 4 in respect of ecological status is achieved by 2010. These standards must be at least as stringent as the standards established in Annex IX or under Article 21(6) or in other relevant Community legislation;

(ii) more intensive monitoring of the extent and nature of any pollution within the body of water, and of any human alterations to the natural hydromorphological condition of the water body;

(iii) investigation of the source of pollution; and

(iii) establishment of environmental quality standards for surface waters for any pollutants thus identified, designed to ensure that the objective set under Article 4 in respect of ecological status is achieved by 31 December 2010. These standards must be at least as stringent as the standards established in Annex IX or under Article 21(6) or in other relevant Community legislation;

(iv) immediate review of all relevant authorisations and discharge permits followed by action on the basis of the level of risk involved;

(iv) immediate review of all relevant authorisations and discharge permits followed by action on the basis of the level of risk involved; and

(iv)(a) establishment of measures necessary to ensure the hydromorphological condition of the water body is such as to ensure the achievement of the objectives set under Article 4 in respect of ecological status.

(Amendment 72)
Article 13(3)(e)

(e) controls over the abstraction of fresh surface water and groundwater, including a register of water abstractors and a requirement of prior authorization for abstraction except in areas where the Member State concerned has demonstrated, and reported to the Commission, that abstraction has no significant impact on water status and that the total level of abstraction amounts to a small proportion of the available resources;

(e) controls over the abstraction of surface water and groundwater, including a register of water abstractors and a requirement of prior authorization for abstraction and, where abstraction may have an impact on water status, a requirement for an environmental impact assessment.

(Amendment 73)
Article 13(3)(ea) (new)

ea. a requirement to implement measures for more efficient use of water in all water use sectors if water demand exceeds the quantity sustainably available within a river basin, particularly by application of best available water saving and recycling technology.

(Amendment 74)
Article 13(3)(eb) (new)

eb. in cases where an adequate supply of wholesome drinking water cannot be secured, a requirement to empower the competent local authority to reallocate water from uses in other water use sectors

(Amendment 75)
Article 13(3)(ec) (new)

ec. a requirement for prior authorisation of inter-basin water transfers and a limitation of such transfers to cases where all measures within the receiving river basin to reduce demand according to Article 13(3)(ea) (new) are demonstrated to have been taken

(Amendment 76)
Article 13(3)(ed) (new)

ed. a requirement for prior authorisation of artificial recharge of groundwater aquifers and a limitation of artificial recharge to cases where all measures to reduce demand according to Article 13(3)(ea) (new) are demonstrated to have been taken

(Amendment 77)
Article 13(3)(ga) (new)

ga. this shall not apply to discharges of domestic waste water which are not connected to the sewerage system and are located outside the zones protected for the abstraction of water for human consumption and for discharges which, according to the findings of the competent authorities of the Member States, contain substances from Annex VIII in such small quantities and concentrations that any current or future risk of impairment of the quality of the groundwater to be abstracted is precluded.

(Amendment 78)
Article 13(3)(ia) (new)

ia. Measures to achieve the environmental quality standards established under Article 13(d)(iii), notably in relation to sustainable water consumption.

(Amendment 79)
Article 13(4)

"Supplementary measures” are those measures designed and implemented in addition to the basic measures in order to achieve the objectives set out under Article 4. The programme of measures shall include whichever supplementary measures are considered necessary in order to achieve those objectives, including those considered necessary to achieve the environmental quality standards established under subparagraph (d)(ii), notably in relation to sustainable water consumption. Part B of Annex VI contains a nonexclusive list of supplementary measures.

"Supplementary measures” are those measures designed and implemented in addition to the basic measures in order to achieve the objectives set out under Article 4. The programme of measures shall include whichever supplementary measures are considered necessary in order to achieve those objectives. Part B of Annex VI contains a non-exclusive list of supplementary measures.

(Amendment 80)
Article 16
River Basin Management Plans

1. Member States shall ensure that within each River Basin District a River Basin Management Plan covering the whole of the River Basin District is produced. The River Basin Management Plan shall include the information detailed in Annex VII.

Deleted

2. River Basin Management Plans shall be published by 31 December 2004.

3. River Basin Management Plans shall be reviewed and updated by 31 December 2010 and every six years thereafter.

(Amendment 81)
Article 17

Public information and consultation

Biennial Conference on Water Policy

1. Member States shall ensure that for each River Basin District draft copies of the River Basin Management Plan are published and access granted at least one year before the beginning of the period to which the Plan refers. Upon request access shall be given to background documents and information used for the development of the draft River Basin Management Plan.

The Commission will convene a conference of interested parties in water policy from each of the member states every two years commencing 2002, within three months following the publication of each biennial implementation report, to consider and comment on the Commission's biennial implementation report and share experiences, including examples of best practice, of implementing the directive.

2. Interested parties shall have at least six months to comment in writing on those documents in order to allow active involvement and consultation.

Participants will be selected by the Member States but should include representatives from the competent authorities including the European Parliament, NGOs, the social partners from the water industry, consumers bodies, academics and experts.

3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply equally to updated River Basin Management Plans.

(Amendment 82)
Article 18
Planning by sub-basin, sector, issue or water type

1. River Basin Management Plans may be supplemented by the Production of more detailed programmes and management plans to deal with particular aspects of water management, including:

Deleted

(a) programmes and management plans dealing with particular subbasins within their River Basin District;

(b) programmes and management plans dealing with particular sectors of the economy;

(c) programmes and management plans dealing with particular water issues; and

(d) programmes and management plans dealing with particular classes of water or particular ecosystems.

Reference to such planning activities shall be made in the River Basin Management Plan.

2. Undertaking any of the planning activities shall not exempt Member States from any of their obligations under the rest of this Directive.

(Amendment 83)
Article 21(1)

1. The Council shall adopt specific control measures against pollution of water by individual pollutants or groups of pollutants presenting an unacceptable risk to the environment.

1. The Council shall adopt specific measures preventing pollution of water by continuously reducing discharges, emissions and losses of hazardous substances thereby moving towards the target of their cessation by 31 December 2020.

(Amendment 84)
Article 21(2)

2. The Commission shall submit a Proposal setting out a first priority list of substances by 31 December 1998. Substances shall be prioritised for action on the basis of risk to or via the aquatic environment identified by:

2. The Commission shall submit a Proposal setting out a first priority list of substances by 31 December 1998, and thereafter, at least every three years. Substances shall be prioritised for action on the basis of risk to or via the aquatic environment identified by:

(Amendment 85)
Article 21(2), last paragraph

The Commission shall review the priority list by 31 December 2004, and every 6 years thereafter, and come forward with proposals as appropriate.

The Commission shall continuously review the priority list and come forward with proposals as appropriate.

(Amendment 86)
Article 21(3)

3. In preparing its Proposal, the Commission shall take account of recommendations from the Scientific Committee for toxicity and ecotoxicity of chemical compounds, Member States, the European Parliament, the European Environment Agency, Community research programmes, international organisations to which the Community is signatory, European business organisations including those representing SMEs, European environmental organisations, and of other relevant information which comes to its attention.

3. In preparing its Proposal, the Commission shall take account of recommendations from the Scientific Committee for toxicity and ecotoxicity of chemical compounds, Member States, the European Parliament, the European Environment Agency, Community research programmes, international organisations to which the Community is signatory, the Biennial Conference on Community Water Policy, European business organisations including those representing SMEs, European environmental organisations, and of other relevant information which comes to its attention.

(Amendment 87)
Article 21(5)

5. For the substances on the priority list, the Commission shall submit Proposals for controls on the principal sources of the emissions concerned. In doing so it shall take account of both product sources and process sources and shall identify the cost-effective and proportionate combination of controls. Where appropriate, action at Community level for process controls may be established on a sector-by sector basis.

5. For the substances on the priority list, the Commission shall submit Proposals for controls on the principal sources of the emissions concerned one year after each new triennial list, or more frequently, as appropriate. In doing so it shall take account of both product sources and process sources and shall identify the cost-effective and proportionate combination of controls. The Commission shall make proposals on this basis for EU-wide uniform emission standards. Action at Community level for process controls should usually be established on a sector-by-sector basis.

(Amendment 88)
Article 21(6)

6. The Commission shall submit proposals for quality standards applicable to the concentrations of the priority substances in water, sediments or biota. In the absence of such standards established at Community level, Member States shall establish in the river basin management plan environmental quality standards for these substances for all waters affected by discharges of those substances.

6. The Commission shall, shall two years after the date given in Article 29, submit proposals for quality standards applicable to the concentrations of the priority substances in surface water, sediments or biota.

(Amendment 89)
Article 22

Commission Report1. The Commission shall publish a Report on the implementation of this Directive by 31 December 2006 and every six years thereafter.

Commission Reportand Consultation at EU level1. The Commission, in consultation with the European Environment Agency, shall publish a Report on the implementation of this Directive by 31 December 2001 and every two years thereafter, and seek the considered responses of the European Parliament, the Council and the biennial conference of interested parties in water policy, within six months from the date of its publication

2. The Report shall include the following:(a) a review of progress in the implementation of the Directive;

2. The Report shall include the following as appropriate:(a) a review of progress in the implementation of the Directive;(aa) a report on the improvements to water quality in the various River Basin Districts;

(b) a review of the status of surface water and groundwater in the Community;

(b) a review of the status of surface water and groundwater in the Community;

(c) a comparative survey of the River Basin Management Plans submitted in accordance with Article 20, including recommendations for the improvement of future plans;

(c) a comparative survey of the River Basin Management Plans submitted in accordance with Article 20, including recommendations for the improvement of future plans;

(d) a response to each of the recommendations to the Commission made by competent authorities pursuant to Article 15; and

(d) a response to each of the recommendations to the Commission made by competent authorities pursuant to Article 15; and

(e) a summary of any strategies developed under Article 21.

(e) a report detailing strategies developed under Article 21.

(ea) a report detailing the actions and proposals for action of the Committee established in accordance with Article 25

(eb) a report of actions taken in response to the consultations on previous implementation reports, including the views of Council, Parliament and the conference of interested parties in Water Policy.

(Amendment 90)
Article 23
Plans for future Community measures

1. Once a year, the Commission shall present to the Committee referred to in Article 25 an indicative plan of measures having an impact on water legislation which it intends to propose in the near future, including any emerging from the strategies developed under Article 21. The Commission shall make the first such presentation by 31 December 1999.

1. Once a year, the Commission shall publish and present to the Committee referred to in Article 25 an indicative plan of measures having an impact on water legislation which it intends to propose in the near future, including any emerging from the strategies developed under Article 21. The Commission shall make the first such presentation by 31 December 1999.

2. The Commission will review this Directive by 31 December 2013 and will propose any necessary amendments to it.

2. The Commission will publish a report on the implementation of this Directive by 31 December 2001 and thereafter every two years and shall submit the reports to Council, the European Parliament and to the biennial conference of interested parties in EU water policy

3. The Commission shall review the obligations of this Directive with regard to territorial and other marine waters by 31 December 2001 and at least every six years thereafter, in the light of scientific developments, with a view to the further integration within its scope of the management of those waters. The Commission shall submit a report on its review to Council and to the European Parliament accompanied by any amendments to this Directive that it considers necessary.

3. The Commission will review this Directive by 31 December 2013 and will propose any necessary amendments to it.

4. The Commission shall review the obligations of this Directive with regard to territorial and other marine waters by 31 December 2001 and at least every six years thereafter, in the light of scientific developments, with a view to the further integration within its scope of the management of those waters. The Commission shall submit a report on its review to Council and to the European Parliament accompanied by any amendments to this Directive that it considers necessary.

(Amendment 91)
Article 24(1)
Amendments to the Directive

1. Annexes I, II, III, V, VIII and IX may be adapted to scientific and technical progress in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 25.

1. Annexes I, II, III, V, VIII and IX may be adapted to scientific and technical progress in accordance with the procedures laid down in Article 25 and published in accordance with the procedures and timetable in Article 22.

(Amendment 92)
Article 25
Committee

The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee composed of one representative per Member State and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The representative of the Commission shall submit to the Committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The Committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter. The opinion shall be delivered by the majority laid down in Article 148(2) of the Treaty in the case of decisions which the Council is required to adopt on a proposal from the Commission. The votes of the representatives of the Member States within the Committee shall be weighed in the manner set out in that Article. The chairman shall not vote.

The representative of the Commission shall publish and submit to the Committee a draft of the measures to be taken. The Committee shall deliver its opinion on the draft within a time limit which the chairman may lay down according to the urgency of the matter. The opinion shall be delivered by the majority laid down in Article 148(2) of the Treaty in the case of decisions which the Council is required to adopt on a proposal from the Commission. The votes of the representatives of the Member States within the Committee shall be weighed in the manner set out in that Article. The chairman shall not vote.

The Commission shall adopt the measures envisaged if they are in accordance with the opinion of the Committee.

The Commission shall adopt the measures envisaged if they are in accordance with the opinion of the Committee.

If the measures envisaged are not in accordance with the opinion of the Committee, or if no opinion is delivered, the Commission shall, without delay, submit to the Council a proposal relating to the measures to be taken. The Council shall act by a qualified majority.

If the measures envisaged are not in accordance with the opinion of the Committee, or if no opinion is delivered, the Commission shall, without delay, submit to the Council a proposal relating to the measures to be taken. The Council shall act by a qualified majority.

If, on the expiry of three months from the date of referral to the Council, the Council has not acted, the proposed measures shall be adopted by the Commission.

If, on the expiry of three months from the date of referral to the Council, the Council has not acted, the proposed measures shall be adopted by the Commission. The Commission will report on the measures proposed and taken under this Article in accordance with Articles 22, 23 and 24 above.

(Amendment 93)
Article 26

1. The following are repealed with effect from 31 December 2007:- Directive 75/440/EEC;- Decision 77/795/EEC;- Directive 78/659/EEC;- Directive 79/869/EEC;- Directive 79/923/EEC;- Directive 80/68/EEC;- Directive 76/464/EEC, with the exception of Article 6, which shall be deleted with effect from the entry into force of this Directive.

1. The following are repealed five years after the date given in Article 27(1):- Directive 75/440/EEC.

2. The following are repealed five years after the date given in Article 29:- Decision 77/795/EEC;- Directive 79/869/EEC.

3. The following are repealed ten years after the date given in Article 29:- Directive 78/659/EEC;- Directive 79/923/EEC;- Directive 80/68/EEC.

4. Directive 76/464/EEC, the Directives listed in Annex IX and the Commission communication to the Council on the hazardous substances in List I of Directive 76/464/EEC on 22 June 1982 shall be repealed when the Member States have established emission limit values for the substances listed in Article 21(2), pursuant to Article 21(1) or Article 13(3)(f) on the basis of the best available technologies (BAT).

(Amendment 94)
Annex II.2, first paragraph

2. The technical specifications shall include a common format for the presentation of the analysis of characteristics of the River Basin District and of the economic analysis of water use, and common rules on the amount of information to be included in the summary required as part of the River Basin Management Plan.

2. The technical specifications shall include a common format for the presentation of the analysis of characteristics of the River Basin District and of the economic analysis of water use, and common rules on the amount of information to be included in the summary required as part of the River Basin District Management Plan.

(Amendment 95)
Annex II.2(a) (new)

Identification, Mapping and Characterisation of Groundwater Bodies

Member states shall identify, map and characterise all groundwater bodies at a national, regional and local level.In characterising groundwater bodies the following information shall be collected where relevant for each groundwater body:

- boundaries and area of the groundwater body;

- geological characteristics of the groundwater body including extent and type of geological units;

- hydrogeological characteristics of the aquifer including hydraulic conductivity, porosity and confinement;

- characteristics of the superficial deposits and soils overlying the aquifer including their thickness, porosity, hydraulic conductivity, and absorptive properties;

- stratification characteristics of the groundwater within the groundwater body;

- an inventory of associated surface systems, including terrestrial ecosystems and bodies of surface water, with which the groundwater body is dynamically linked;

- estimates of the directions and rates of exchange of water between the groundwater body and associated surface systems; and

- sufficient data to calculate the long term annual average rate of overall recharge.

In characterising the impact of human activity, the following information shall be collected and maintained for each groundwater body:

- location of points in the groundwater body from which water is abstracted;

- the annual average rates of abstraction from such points;

- the chemical composition of water abstracted from the groundwater body;

- location of points in the groundwater body into which water is directly discharged;

- the rates of discharge at such points;

- the chemical composition of waters discharged to the groundwater body;

- land use in the catchment for the groundwater body including anthropogenic alterations to the recharge characteristics of

- the groundwater body including rainwater and run-off diversion through land sealing, artificial recharge, damming and drainage; and

- areas of human development which may be susceptible to damage as a result of changes in groundwater level.

Sufficient information shall be provided to allow a reliable water balance calculation to be made for each groundwater body such as to identify the net change in water storage in the body resulting from the total volumes of water entering and leaving the body.

(Amendment 96)
Annex IV.1
Protected areas

1. The register of Protected Areas required under Article 9 shall include, where relevant for the purposes of water protection, the following types of Protected Areas:

1. The register of Protected Areas required under Article 9 shall include the following types of Protected Areas and those qualifying for designation:

(Amendment 97)
Annex IV.1(i)

i. areas designated for the abstraction of water intended for human consumption under Article 8;

i. areas designated for the actual or potential abstraction of water intended for human consumption under Article 8;

(Amendment 98)
Annex IV.1(v)

v. areas designated for the protection of habitats or species where the maintenance or improvement of the status of water is an important factor in their protection, including relevant Natura 2000 sites designated under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).

v. areas designated for the protection of habitats or species where the maintenance or improvement of the status of water is an important factor in their protection, including relevant Natura 2000 sites designated or which qualify for designation under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC).

(Amendment 99)
Annex V
1.1.1.1 Rivers
Chemical and physico-chemical parameters supporting the biological parameters

All priority substances other substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

Substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

(Amendment 100)
Annex V
1.1.1.2 Lakes
Chemical and physico-chemical parameters supporting the biological parameters

All priority substances other substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

Substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

(Amendment 101)
Annex V
1.1.1.3 Estuaries
Chemical and physico-chemical parameters supporting the biological parameters

All priority substances other substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

Substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

(Amendment 102)
Annex V
1.1.1.4 Coastal water
Chemical and physico-chemical parameters supporting the biological parameters

All priority substances other substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

Substances identified as being discharged in significant quantities into the body of water by the enventory of point and diffuse sources of pollution

(Amendment 103)
Annex V
1.1.2 Normative definitions of ecological status classificationsNew paragraph under title (new)

Waters achieving a quality below fair shall be classified as poor or bad:Waters showing evidence of considerable impacts on the biological communities and in which the biota deviates considerably from that normally associated with the ecotype under undisturbed conditions shall be classified as poor.Waters showing evidence of severe impacts on the biological communities and in which much of the biota normally associated with the ecotype under undisturbed conditions is absent shall be classified as bad.

(Amendment 104)
Annex V
Table 1.1.2.1
Hydromorphological elementsGood quality

Such as to allow the occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

Conditions consistent with occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

(Amendment 105)
Annex V
Table 1.1.2.2
Hydromorphological parametersGood quality

Such as to allow the occurrence of the type-specific biological communities specified above.

Conditions consistent with occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

(Amendment 106)
Annex V
Table 1.1.2.3Hydromorphological factorsGood quality

Such as to allow the occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

Conditions consistent with occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

(Amendment 107)
Annex V
Table 1.1.2.4
Hydromorphological parametersGood quality

Such as to allow the occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

Conditions consistent with occurrence of the type specific biological communities specified above.

(Amendment 108)
Annex V
1.1.3 Classification of water body ecotype and identification of reference conditions

1.1.3.1 Classification of water body ecotypeMethodologyi. The surface water bodies within the river basin shall be discriminated into ecotypes

1.1.3.1 Characterisation of water bodiesMethodologyi. The surface water bodies within the river basin shall be characterised in terms of their natural physical characteristics so as permit the establishment of reference conditions appropriate to the water body.

(Amendment 109)
Annex V
1.1.3.2 Establishment of reference conditionsMethodology

i. For each ecotype identified under Section 1.1.3.1, a set of reference conditions shall be established. These reference conditions shall be the values for the biological parameters which would be obtained for that ecotype at high status.

i. Reference conditions shall be established for each water body. These reference conditions shall be the values for the biological parameters which would be obtained for that ecotype at high status.

(Amendment 110)
Annex V
1.1.4, Title

1.1.4 Monitoring of ecological status for inland and coastal waters.

1.1.4 Monitoring of ecological status for surface fresh waters, estuaries and coastal waters.

(Amendment 111)
Annex V, 1.2.4.4

1.1.4.4. Additional provisions on Priority List Substances

1.1.4.4. Additional provisions on Priority List Substances

i Type 1 bodies of water which have been subject to inputs of Priority List substances shall continue to be monitored until such time as twelve consecutive samples are measured to be below EQS for the substances in question.

i Type 1 bodies of water which have been subject to inputs of Priority List substances shall continue to be monitored until such time as twelve consecutive samples are measured to be below EQS for the substances in question.

When screening results show that no Priority List substances were found or are not expected at the pre-determined monitoring points, it is possible to suspend monitoring for a specified period.

(Amendment 112)
Annex V
1.1.4.7 Standards for Monitoring of Type Parameters

Standards for Physico-Chemical parametersStandards for Hydromorphological parameters

Standards for Physico-Chemical parametersRelevant CEN/ISO standardsStandards for Hydromorphological parametersRelevant CEN/ISO standards

(Amendment 113)
Annex V
1.1.5, Title

1.1.5 Monitoring and assessment of other marine waters

1.1.5 Monitoring and assessment of territorial and other marine waters

(Amendment 114)
Annex V
1.1.6 Presentation of monitoring results andharmonised classification of ecological quality1.1.6.2 Comparability of biological monitoring results

iii. The Commission shall co-ordinate an intercalibration exercise. Every biological monitoring system to be used by a Member State for the purposes of Article 10 shall be tested on the intercalibration network. This testing shall take the following form:

iii. The Commission shall co-ordinate an intercalibration exercise. Every biological monitoring system to be used by a Member State for the purposes of Article 10 shall be tested on the intercalibration network. This testing shall take the following form:

(i) Each biological monitoring system shall be applied to every site in the intercalibration network which is of an ecotype for which it shall be used in practice. The intercalibration network shall include at least 5 sites at each of the 5 quality levels for every such ecotype.

(i) Each biological monitoring system shall be applied to every site in the intercalibration network which is of an ecotype for which it shall be used in practice. The intercalibration network shall include at least 5 sites at each of the 5 quality levels for every such ecotype.

(ii) Environmental quality ratios for each national monitoring system shall be established for each of the five quality classes. Member States shall classify the ecological status of the water body for the purposes of this Directive by reference to the ratios so established.

(ii) Environmental quality ratios for each national monitoring system shall be established for each of the five quality classes on the basis of the average values obtained across the intercalibration network. Member States shall classify the ecological status of the water body for the purposes of this Directive by reference to the ratios so established.

iv. The intercalibration exercise outlined in paragraph 4 shall be completed by 31 December 2002 at the latest. A table of all the values so established shall be published by the Commission by 30 June 2003.

iv. The intercalibration exercise outlined in paragraph iii shall be completed by 31 December 2002 at the latest. A table of all the values so established shall be published by the Commission by 30 June 2003.

(Amendment 115)
Annex V
1.1.7 Criteria for the designation of heavily modified physical characteristics

The Member State may designate physical characteristics of a body as heavily modified on the basis of consideration of the following:

Deleted

i. whether it is technically possible and economically feasible to make modificationsii. the effects of such modifications on the wider environmentiii. the effects on navigationiv. the effects on activities for the purposes of which water is stored (power generation, drinking-water supply, etc.)v. the effects on water regulation and flood protection.

Where characteristics of a body of water are so designated, that designation and the reasons for it shall be stated in the River Basin Management Plan.

(Amendment 116)
Annex V
1.2.1 Selection of monitoring sites, and sampling and analysis frequencies

These shall be selected as specified in the legislation laying down the environmental quality standard. Where no specific guidance is given the scheme for priority list substances set out in section 1.1.4.3 shall be adopted.

These shall be selected as specified in the legislation laying down the environmental quality standard. Where no specific guidance is given, or the guidance is insufficient for the purposes of this Directive, the scheme for priority list substances set out in section 1.1.4.3, 1.1.4.4 and 1.1.4.7 shall be adopted.

(Amendment 117)
Annex V
2. GROUNDWATER
2.1 ANALYSIS OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RIVER BASIN DISTRICT

Identification, Mapping and Characterisation of Groundwater BodiesMember states hall identify, map and characterise all groundwater bodies at a national, regional and local level.

Deleted

In characterising groundwater bodies the following information shall be collected where relevant for each groundwater body:boundaries and area of the groundwater body;geological characteristics of the groundwater body including extent and type of geological units;hydrogeological characteristics of the aquifer including hydraulic conductivity, porosity and confinement;characteristics of the superficial deposits and soils overlying the aquifer including their thickness, porosity, hydraulic conductivity, and absorptive properties;stratification characteristics of the groundwater within the groundwater body;an inventory of associated surface systems, including terrestrial ecosystems and bodies of surface water, with which the groundwater body is dynamically linked;

estimates of the directions and rates of exchange of water between the groundwater body and associated surface systems; andsufficient data to calculate the long term annual average rate of overall recharge.

In characterising the impact of human activity, the following information shall be collected and maintained for each groundwater body:

location of points in the groundwater body from which water is abstracted;the chemical composition of water abstracted from the groundwater body;location of points in the groundwater body into which water is directly discharged;the rates of discharge at such points;the chemical composition of waters discharged to the groundwater body;

land use in the catchment for the groundwater body including anthropogenic alterations to the recharge characteristics of the groundwater body including rainwater and run-off diversion through land sealing, artificial recharge, damming and drainage; andareas of human development which may be susceptible to damage as a result of changes in groundwater level.

Sufficient information shall be provided to allow a reliable water balance calculation to be made for each groundwater body such as to identify the net change in water storage in the body resulting from the total volumes of water entering and leaving the body.

(Amendment 118)
Annex VI
Lists of measures to be included within the Programmes of MeasuresPart B, point 1, vi(a) (new)

re-creation and restoration of wetland areas

(Amendment 119)
Annex VII, viii.

viii. a summary of the programme of measures adopted under Article 13, including:

viii. a summary of the programme of measures adopted under Article 13, including:

a. for those measures described under Article 13(3)(a), a description of the European Community, national or local legislation from which the measures derive, together with details of the way in which they have been, or will be, implemented within the River Basin District;

a. for those measures described under Article 13(3)(a), a description of the European Community, national or local legislation from which the measures derive, together with details of the way in which they have been, or will be, implemented within the River Basin District;

b. a summary of the measures taken for the implementation of the charges for water use required under Article 12 and Article 13(3)(b);

b. a summary of the measures taken for the implementation of the charges for water use required under Article 12 and Article 13(3)(b);

c. a summary of the measures taken under Article 1 Article 13(3)(c) to achieve the environmental quality standards established under Article 8(2);

c. a summary of the measures taken under Article 1 Article 13(3)(c) to achieve the environmental quality standards established under Article 8(2);

d. a summary of the measures taken under Article 13(3)(d) for bodies of water with a chemical status below "good".

d. a summary of the measures taken under Article 13(3)(d) for bodies of water failing to achieve the environmental objectives established in Article 4

e. details of the abstraction controls adopted under Article 13(3)(e) and, where such controls have not been adopted, reasoned justification for the exemption;

e. details of the abstraction controls adopted under Article 13(3)(e) and, where such controls have not been adopted, reasoned justification for the exemption;

f. details of the additional measures adopted under Article 13(3)(f), and

f. details of other measures taken under Article 13.3.(e);

g. details of the supplementary measures adopted under Article 13(4), including, in each of the above cases, an identification of the individuals or organizations responsible for undertaking the various measures and a timetable for their intended implementation, and

g. details of the additional measures adopted under Article 13(3)(f), and

ga. details of the supplementary measures adopted under Article 13(4), including, in each of the above cases, an identification of the individuals or organizations responsible for undertaking the various measures and a timetable for their intended implementation, and

(Amendment 120)
Annex VII, point 3 and 4

3. The River Basin Management Plan shall contain a summary of the results of the public consultation undertaken on the draft Plan under Article 17 together with a summary of the changes made as a result.

3. The River Basin District Management Plan shall contain a summary of the results of the public consultation and scoping undertaken on the draft Plan and the preparatory work for it, under Article 3a (new) together with a summary of the changes made as a result.

4. The River Basin Management Plan shall contain references to any programmes and plans covered by the terms of Article 18.

4. The River Basin District Management Plan shall contain references to any programmes and plans covered by the terms of Article 3a (new).

(Amendment 121)
Annex VIII.4

4. Substances and preparations, which have been proved to possess carcinogenic or mutagenic properties or properties which may affect reproduction in or via the aquatic environment.

4. Substances and preparations, or the breakdown products of such, which have been proved to possess carcinogenic or mutagenic properties or properties which may affect steroidogenic thyroid, reproduction or other endocrine related functions in or via the aquatic environment.

(Amendment 122)
Annex VIII.12(a) (new)

12a. Man-made radioactive substances.

Legislative resolution embodying Parliament's opinion on the proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C4-0120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN))

(Cooperation procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the Commission proposals to the Council COM(97)0049(4) - COM(97)0614(5)

- COM(98)0076(6) - 97/0067(SYN),

- having been consulted by the Council pursuant to Article 189C of the EC Treaty and Article 130S of the EC Treaty (C4-0192/97 - C4-0120/98 - C4-0121/98),

- having regard to Rule 58 of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy and the Committee on Fisheries and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A4-0261/98),

1. Approves the Commission proposals, subject to Parliament's amendments;

2. Calls on the Council to incorporate Parliament's amendments in the common position that it adopts in accordance with Article 189C(a) of the EC Treaty;

3. Instructs its President to forward this opinion to the Council and Commission.

(1)() OJ C 184, 17.6.1997, p. 20.
(2)() OJ C 16, 20.1.1998, p. 14.
(3)() OJ C 108, 7.4.1998, p. 94.
(4)() OJ C 184, 17.6.1997, p. 20.
(5)() OJ C 16, 20.1.1998, p. 14.
(6)() OJ C 108, 7.4.1998, p. 94.


 B. EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1. Introduction

The Water Framework Directive provides an historic opportunity to secure the Community's most basic need for adequate supplies of good quality water for current and future generations. Its outcome will determine the future of the Community's water resources well into the 21st century.

Reform of the Community's water policy is long overdue and welcome. The piecemeal evolution of water instruments has resulted in a somewhat incoherent mass of legislation with differing and sometimes conflicting methods, definitions and aims. At the same time as notable successes have been achieved, for example in the improving quality of inland waters like the Rhine and Danube, the management of the Community's water, from both qualitative and quantitative standpoints, faces grave challenges.

A quarter of Europe's rivers are of poor or bad quality with either sparse populations of fish or completely devoid of fish. Overexploitation of groundwater occurs in about 60% of the industrial and urban centres in Europe. In many European coastal areas, salt-water intrusion due to overexploitation seriously affects soils and the drinking water. Just under a quarter of the EU's agricultural land shows nitrate concentrations above the drinking water standard and 87% of it is above the EU target value(1).

Moreover, serious problems continue to be experienced in the implementation of Community water legislation in the Member States(2).

Such were the conclusions of the Hearing on Water Policy convened by the European Parliament's Environment Committee in 1995. The Commission is to be congratulated for responding to the challenge of comprehensive reform laid down then. The Commission proposal aims to set a framework for the future of water policy in the Community and follows a fundamental review, as requested by the Parliament's Environment Committee and the Council in June 1995, and a subsequent Communication on Community Water Policy in February 1996.

Following Parliament's response to the Communication in a report by Mr Florenz, a dialogue has been continuing between the Commission and the rapporteur. This has ensured that the drafting of the Framework proposal has reflected undertakings given by Commissioner Bjerregaard to the Committee, and that subsequent modifications have provided detailed annexes and basic definitions missing from the original proposal.

1.1 A Summary of the Proposal

The proposal sets a framework for the protection of surface water and groundwater in the Community within a common approach and with common objectives, principles and common basic measures.

The river basin is the basis of the approach to managing groundwater and surfacewater in the proposal and the prime focus of the actions designed to ensure good quality water, as well as of those integrating the requirements of EU water policy with eco-system protection and habitats legislation.

River basin management plans for achieving good water quality to a set timetable will work towards common objectives, which are supplied in the annexes to the proposal (Annex 5 for surface water and groundwater), and meet community-wide and more locally determined pollution controls.

The proposal elaborates the "combined approach" to the prevention of pollution from a priority list of dangerous substances. The concept, which covers the use of both emission limit values (ELVs) and the setting of environmental quality objectives (EQOs) and is consistent with the IPPC Directive, is dealt with in the main proposal and in a modification which aims to repeal the Dangerous Substances Directive (76/464) and which introduces the stricter requirement for both ELVs and EQOs to be legally binding.

The Framework Directive sets Member States two sets of tasks; the first, for the period 1999-2005 are preparatory (involving the setting up of river-basin administration and management structures, together with the analysis of the state of water, the identification of problems, the determination of measures to tackle the problems and the costing of all these, so that "good status" can be achieved by 2010); the second, during the period 2006 -2009, concern the implementation and monitoring of those measures and at the end of the next five years, of review and of the submission of new fiveyear-plans for the period 2011-2016. These tasks are reviewed and renewed at six-yearly intervals.

The Commission sets itself the six-yearly task of drafting a report on implementation, the first coming at the end of the preparatory phase in 2006 and the second at the end of the first full implementation phase in 2013.

In accordance with the polluter pays and prevention at source environmental principles, the Framework proposal requires Member States to achieve full-cost recovery for all costs for services provided for water uses overall and by economic sectors, broken down at least into households, industry and agriculture by 2010. This requirement is softened by the possibility of exemptions where the delivery of domestic water at an affordable price may be threatened, or where local circumstances make the objective difficult to realise.

1.2 Summary of Rapporteurs Comments

The Commission is to be congratulated for a proposal which addresses many of the entrenched problems stemming from the piecemeal development of water policy over the last 25 years. The combination of a new framework for integrating and simplifying the requirements of different water instruments with the river-basin catchment approach to planning for good water quality represents a sound basis for the improvement and better protection of the Union's water resources for the benefit of future generations.

In summary, the rapporteur's suggestions for reform of the WFD proposal are designed to address the considerable problems which continue to undermine the implementation of Community Water policy. At the same time they aim to assist in the creation of a water policy framework which is clear, consistent, transparent, and both practical and ambitious. Moreover they aim to reinforce the water policy framework so that it is more capable of protecting, enhancing and restoring wetlands and promoting the conservation of biodiversity. They include procedural and terminological changes to make the process of policy formulation transparent, clear and consistent, and a tougher framework of incentives and requirements at Member State and EU-level to facilitate continual progress towards the goal of good water quality. They include also a new 'scoping' phase of public accountability prior to the drafting of river basin management plans, biennial (rather than six-yearly) implementation reports to be drawn up by the Commission on information provided by the Member States and presented to Parliament and to a biennial conference of interested parties. Also to be proposed will be that the Commission produce additional lists of dangerous substances for community-wide regulation via the combined approach every three years instead of six-yearly, and that the Comitology arrangements are democratised. Finally, amendments are proposed to the technical annexes that contain key objectives of the directive.

2. Detailed Commentary on the proposed Amendments

2.1 Catchment Management Planning

The technique of catchment management planning (CMP) is fundamental to the WFD. In the terminology of the Commission proposal, Member States must identify River Basins, designate competent authorities as River Basin District Authorities and ensure that they make appropriate administrative arrangements in order to achieve the objectives of the Directive.

The elements for successful CMP are in the original Commission proposal. However, as it is essential to get the method for CMP right, changes are proposed that ensure that: terminology is used consistently; the process is open and collaborative; there is a coherent logic to the process; and that its objectives are clear.

2.1.1 Terminology

The unit which the Commission asks the Member States to identify is the River Basin District. The plans are intended to cover the entire district so for consistency it is proposed to refer to them as River Basin District Management Plans.

2.1.2 The River Basin District Authority

If the plans are to succeed, responsibility needs to be clearly delegated to an identifiable body which is appropriately constituted and can be held accountable. With many different administrative systems across the EU, there needs to be some flexibility in the selection of the RBDMA and these may in some cases be co-ordinating bodies. However, as the Commission recognise in their proposal, an Authority must have certain minimum attributes. Currently these are only hinted at in the information to be provided to the Commission in Annex 1. Amendments attempt to improve the drafting of Article 3, and Annex 1, to clarify (i) the essential attributes of an Authority and (ii) the information that must be provided to demonstrate that these bodies have those attributes.

2.1.3 Developing the Management Plan

The key element missing from the Commission proposal is "scoping”. Experience shows that effective plans develop from collaborative effort between all parties with an interest in the water in the River Basin District(3). Collaboration is necessary at various stages. It is important, for example, to involve stakeholders before the baseline analyses are done. This ensures that time and resources are not wasted in collecting unnecessary baseline data and that the data which is collected can be used effectively. To introduce this "scoping phase” a new Article 3a is proposed which deals with developing the River Basin District Management Plan.

This new Article is a development of Article 16 (which says that Member States must ensure that there are River Basin District Management Plans) and Article 18 (which says that Plans can be developed on a sub catchment or sectoral basis). The intention is to put the plan at the heart of the framework Directive, to give it a clear context, to make clear and coherent cross references to other aspects of the Directive (like the Programme of Measures) and to give guidance on developing the plan itself.

Collaboration is also needed before, and during, decision making on the action required to meet the objectives within the River Basin District. To this end a second collaborative phase of the process before the development of the Programme of Measure is proposed

2.1.4 The Objectives of the Plan

It is implicit in the Commission proposal that the River Basin District Authority must adapt the objectives of the Directive to the particular circumstances of their River Basin District. Clear definition of appropriate objectives is crucial to successful catchment planning and amendments are proposed to make this explicit.

2.1.5 The Programme of Measures

The description of the Programme of Measures in the Commission proposal seems to confuse the objectives to be attained with the methods to be used to attain those objectives. In the amendments proposed, objective setting is distinguished from selecting methods for achieving the objectives.

2.1.5.1 Measures concerning the economics of water use: charges, licensing, environmental costing and forecasting

The Commission proposal includes the welcome suggestions that greater use of financial measures encourage the efficient long-term use of water and that the price paid for water reflects the environmental cost of removing that water from the environment.

The scheme established by the WFD should complement regulatory controls through a system of incentive charging where charges would be set at a level which influences behaviour, even if in most cases it will be difficult initially to identify the exact environmental cost of water use. The Commission's proposed preparatory work on environmental costing is very welcome and an amendment proposes that this be to a clear timetable .

Other concerns are that:

- The economic analysis of water use in the River Basin District (Article 7), should examine both the actual levels of abstraction and the licensed levels for abstraction.

- The demand and supply forecasts should use different scenarios, for example, of high demand, medium demand and low demand.

- The charging system should apply to all water users including those who abstract directly.

- It is not appropriate to exempt areas from charging schemes because they qualify for Community assistance under the structural funds. Such designations cover large areas of the Community, many of them have stressed water environments and in many cases Community supported development projects have significant impacts on the water environments in these areas. This exemption runs counter to the spirit of the WFD. Rather, a basic charging system should be established in these areas and then, if appropriate, Community assistance can be used to meet these charges.

- Proposed measures, and the guidelines for forecasting, should strive towards the more efficient and economical use of water.

3. Environmental Objectives and Definitions

3.1 Defining Water Quality

The overall objective of the Directive is the achievement of "good quality status” which is defined in a new modification providing a more detailed annex 5. The modification provides details of a system of setting and monitoring EU-wide standards for the ecological quality of surface waters (inland and coastal), quantitative status of groundwater and for monitoring the quality of marine waters. Also detailed in this new modification are the criteria for the identification of heavily modified physical characteristics which outline the scope for derogations from the requirements to achieve good water quality. This annex is in many ways the heart of the whole directive, setting as it does the key objectives for all types of water in the Community and the grounds for derogations.

The first point to note is that there is no obligation to actually achieve the status objectives. The obligation imposed on Member States is to ensure that the plans drawn up are capable of achieving the status objectives. The obligation is therefore to do a plan rather than to achieve the status objectives.

This is why amendments seek to make the plan-making process robust and ensure that there are opportunities to hold the River Basin District Management Authorities to account if they do not produce adequate plans.

3.2 Groundwater

The proposal has the goal of keeping groundwater free of pollution. However, despite the detail now provided in annex V on basic definitions and objectives these are still lacking for groundwater. The suggested amendment to remedy this proposes new definitions in Article 2 which are a response to section 2 of Annex V and which seek to ensure that the objectives to be pursued are clear, consistent and in keeping with the overall ecological ambition.

3.2.1 Prevent further deterioration of Surface Waters

The current wording of the proposal in which the obligation "to prevent further deterioration” is expressed, could be interpreted as allowing the status of water bodies which are above good status, when the Directive is adopted, to deteriorate to good status.

Amendments therefore separate the obligation to achieve good status from the obligation to prevent deterioration by inserting the obligation to prevent deterioration as a separate indent of Article 4(1). The new Annex V, moreover, still provides insufficient guidelines as to the criteria for determining surface waters of below "fair" quality. Amendments suggest remedies for this for classes of surface water defined as "poor" and "bad" .

3.2.2 Restoration of Surface Waters

The reference to restoration is welcome. But restoration should be applied to both "polluted” surface waters and to those with poor ecological status. An amendment includes restoration as one of the means of achieving good status so that it can mean restoration work to improve both chemical status and ecological status.

3.2.3 Groundwater Protection and Restoration

The same reasoning expressed above in relation to surface waters, applies to amendments dealing with groundwaters in Article 4.

3.2.3 Derogations from the status obligations

Derogations from these objectives should only be permitted in very limited circumstances and not so as to undermine the other initiatives on implementation of the Directive. The current wording of article 4 is no guide to the determination of derogations in that it applies only to existing waters and not those subject to proposed developments in the future. Neither is it consistent with the new section in Annex V 1.1.7 concerning waters with heavily modified physical characteristics. Amendments are suggested to remedy these shortcomings.

4. Implementation, transparency and participation

This Committee has often expressed the view that effective environmental policy needs a high degree of openness, accountability and public awareness. This needs to occur at each stage of the policymaking and subsequent legislative process of adoption, transposition, implementation, enforcement and review. But this contrasts too often with the practise of EU environment policy.

The suggested incentives and checks to ensure that implementation of the directive is effective at the EU level are inadequate. Six yearly reports on implementation are unlikely to create the right atmosphere to make continuous and even progress on the Water Framework Directive in all Member States. Similarly, although the Commission text stresses the need for openness and participation at the crucial stage of the proposed policy-making process - that of the river basin catchment management plan - the public participation envisaged would be too late and too limited. In many member states it is a matter of recognised good practice to ensure comprehensive scoping of issues with key participants at the start of the planning process, rather than to consult with participants on draft plans which reflect only the competent water authority's views. This helps establish partnerships, a sense of ownership and a better overall environmental outcome.

The remedy suggested is that of boosting transparency and consultation arrangements from the earliest stage in the preparation of the River Basin Management plans, requiring member states to provide annual implementation reports to the Commission, and for the Commission to publish biennial EU-wide implementation reports.

Secondly, to boost transparency and accountability still further, it is proposed to develop the Commission's tentative proposal for a consultative biennial conference process by which industry and user groups discuss water issues (para 3.8) by requiring the Commission to arrange biennial audit conferences of the interested parties in community water policy, providing for each a report on the implementation of the Directive. The report should be drawn up in collaboration with the Environment Agency.

Accountability to Parliament would also be required for these biennial audit reports which should be published by the Commission and submitted to Parliament for comment.

The repetition of this procedure every two years would ensure that the Commission is approving both the procedures behind the draft plans and reporting on the outcomes of the plans in improvements to the quality of water resources. The Commission moreover, would be undertaking this process continually, rather than just six-yearly. The results of the biennial consultation conference should be published by the Commission and each new biennial implementation report would show how the consultations have been acted upon subsequently.

In preparation for the biennial conferences and to ensure that procedures ensure that interested parties are able to participate equably across the EU, Member States are encouraged, in an amendment to Article 17, to ensure that invitees to the biennial water conference include representatives of the competent authorities, consumers, the water industry social partners, environmental organisations and academics and experts. These would monitor, inter alia, the preparation of the river basin plans and their implementation.

A public database of background data is also proposed to be set up to centralise all information about water in each catchment area. This should be regularly up-dated, to enable the general public to have comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge about the water in their area.

4.1 Comitology

The process described above alone would build greater accountability into the procedure of Article 25, which otherwise diverts to a proposed Committee key decisions on the review of the implementation of the Directive at Community level. Adequate measures should provide for interested parties to be consulted prior to the adoption of proposals from the Committee established under Article 25. According to the amendment proposed, the biennial reports would provide clear information about the proposed actions of the Committee, and Council and Parliament powers of approval over Commission proposals for reform, thereby ensuring that it operates with greater transparency and accountability.

Amendments seek to tighten the role of the Committee to that of technical matters and require its proposals for actions to be detailed to the biennial conference in the Commission's report on implementation of the Directive. This report should be published and submitted to Parliament for its comments three months in advance of the conference. Parliament and Council would have three months after the conference to act on the suggestions for new measures in the Commission report.

5. Relationship to other International Conventions

A prime objective in the reform of the Community's water policy is better integration and consistency between water policy and other relevant legislation and international agreements. It is important therefore that the interrelationships between water policy, community emissions control legislation (for example, the IPPC Directive) and international water conventions should be part of the biennial review of the Directive by the Commission. For marine waters, the objectives and standards agreed under North Sea, OSPAR and Barcelona Conventions should be incorporated in the Directive to create a consistent normative environment. In particular, the regulations concerning chemical pollution, which demand a phase-out of persistent toxic and bio-accumulative substances, are suggested in amendments as worthy of incorporation as a long-term objective of the Water Framework Directive, setting as it does a clear overall aspiration compared to the list-based approach to substance control contained in Article 21.

6. The Control of Pollutants and Dangerous Substances

Some 10,000 different synthetic chemicals are currently present in Community waters, most of them of unknown origin, toxicity, persistence and even identity. The existing Dangerous Substances Directive 76/464 and its daughter Directives have proved an inadequate means of addressing the problem in a way that has as its goal the ultimate elimination of pollution of the community's water resources. After a period of more than twenty years, controls on only 17 of some 130 dangerous substances have been agreed.

In a modification to the existing proposal, the Commission offer a new risk assessment procedure for designating emission limit values and environmental quality standards for a priority list of substances. This holds out the prospect of breaking the deadlock which has prevented the emergence of controls under Directive 76/464. It also provides a link with the EU level limit values of the IPPC Directive, ensuring consistency. The modification also provides welcome clarification of the Commission's intentions regarding pollution control mechanisms neglected in the original proposal, particularly with regard to emissions of dangerous substances from small and medium-sized industries not covered by the IPPC Directive.

There is no doubt that the existing requirements of 76/464 are not being met community wide. For example, a study of 16 major EU rivers found that none of the Member States is completely in accordance with the requirements of the 76/464 Directive.(4)

In some ways the draft modification is an advance on the original 76/464 Directive, providing a more rigorous regime to ensure greater progress amongst the Member States towards the goal of eliminating the discharge of dangerous substances. For example, the requirement for both ELVs and EQOs to be legally binding is a welcome strengthening of the legal framework and a welcome clarification of the combined approach.

However, repeal of the old 76/464 Directive is premature until the new procedure for setting EUwide limits for the priority list of dangerous substances has borne fruit in strict new community-wide standards.

Elsewhere the proposal needs amendment to ensure that the much-needed new momentum to set EUwide limits and introduce controls for priority dangerous substances is sustained. To this end, an amendment would require priority substances to be reviewed continuously and for new lists of, and proposed control measures for, priority substances to be presented at least every three years by the Commission. This would help ensure that steady progress continues towards the elimination of polluting discharges after the initial list of 30 or so substances has been prepared, and that progress is maintained towards the longer term goal, already contained in international conventions to which the EU and its Member States are signatory, of phasing out toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative substances from surface, marine and ground waters.

(1)() The Dobris Assessment, European Environment Agency.
(2)() For example, see the Fourteenth Annual Report on monitoring the application of Community Law (97/C332/01). Problems experienced in implementing the Nitrates Directive are particularly of concern. Like the Water Framework Proposal, this requires member states to designate problem areas and devise remedial action plans. Despite the seriousness of the problems it addresses, some of which are described above, none of the Member States are complying with the Directive.
(3)()See for example the US Environment Protection Agency"s publications, "The Watershed Protection Approach - An overview” EPA/503/9-92/002 Dec 1991; "Watershed Approach Framework” EPA840-S-96-001 June 1996.
(4)() Evaluation of Directive 76/464/EEC regarding list II substances on the quality of the most important surface waters CR-03-96-224-EN-C; Impact of Directive 76/464/EEC and its daughter directives on the most important surface waters CR-03-96-208-EN-C.


 OPINION

(Rule 147 of the Rules of Procedure)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C40120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN); report by Mr White)

Committee on Budgets

Letter from the committee chairman to Mr Collins, chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

Brussels, 8 September 1997

Dear Mr Collins,

The Committee on Budgets considered the above subject at its meeting of 2 September 1997(1).

The Committee noted that the Commission proposal was designed to coordinate and partially harmonize the existing hotchpotch of national and Community legislation concerning water and improve protection of groundwater and surface waters.

The Committee welcomes this major undertaking, as it extends to both the qualitative and the quantitative aspects of water policy and will result in common definitions and methods of monitoring, which will facilitate better supervision of water quality.

Although the costs to the Community budget will be limited in the first instance (the Commission quotes a figure of ECU 300 000 in 1997 and the same amount in both the 9th and 15th years after adoption of the Directive), the costs to Member States will be substantial. It should not be forgotten that Article 130s(4) of the Treaty expressly stipulates: 'Without prejudice to certain measures of a Community nature, the Member States shall finance and implement the environment policy.'

Nonetheless, numerous environmental projects are cofinanced by the Community through the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund. Particularly with regard to drinking water supply and water treatment, large sums have been made available through the Cohesion Fund in recent years. In 1995, for example, 90%, 93% and 92% respectively of the funding available from the Cohesion Fund for environmental projects in Portugal, Greece and Ireland was spent on water supply and water treatment, while the corresponding figure for Spain was 60%.

The immense cost of implementing the Directive can be divided into administrative costs to the Member States, costs to consumers and costs to industry and agriculture. A number of Member States will have to set up administrative bodies to manage water in certain river basins. Consumers will face higher prices for drinking water and water treatment because the investment required to comply with the higher standards will be on-charged to consumers in the prices they pay. The same applies to industry and agriculture. It will no longer be possible to pass on the costs to society as a whole or to the environment.

Over against the enormous investment costs, there are many advantages to the proposal. For instance, charging for costs per consumer will result in more careful use of water and therefore reduce its consumption. Water is a resource which, where it is of good quality, is becoming increasingly scarce. This will apply not only to consumers but also to industry and agriculture. Moreover, the measures will have a strong preventive effect: water will be less polluted and require less treatment. Preventing pollution generally costs only a fraction of the cost of treatment (both of drinking water and of effluent). The necessary investment will promote employment. Lastly, it may be noted that improved water quality will benefit both public health and tourism.

Naturally it would be impossible to quantify all the costs and savings in advance, but it is perfectly justifiable to assume that the net effect will be positive by a substantial margin.

The Committee on Budgets wishes to table only one amendment. It concerns the number of members whom each Member State can appoint to the advisory committee on the understanding that their expenses will be reimbursed by the Community (Article 25). This should be limited to one per Member State. Member States may appoint additional representatives on condition that they bear the cost themselves.

Otherwise the Committee on Budgets endorses the Commission proposal.

Yours sincerely,

Detlev Samland

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments

(Amendment)
Article 25, Committee, first paragraph

The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The Commission shall be assisted by a Committee composed of one representative per Member State and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

5 June 1998

(1)() The following were present for the vote: Samland, chairman; Tillich, vice-chairman; Bardong, Brinkhorst, Christodoulou (for Böge), Colom I Naval, Dankert, Elles, Fabre-Aubrespy, Garriga Polledo, Haug, Marinho (for Bösch), Müller, Virrankoski and Wynn.


 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C40120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN); report by Mr White)

Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy

Draftsman: Mr Juan de Dios Izquierdo Collado

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 8 October 1997 the Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy appointed Mr Izquierdo Collado draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 21 April and 2 and 3 June 1998.

At the latter meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Scapagnini, chairman; Quisthoudt-Rowohl and Lange, vicechairmen; Izquierdo Collado, draftsman; Ahern, Bloch von Blottnitz, Chichester, Desama, Estevan Bolea, Ferber, Ford (for Adam), García Arias (for Denys), Haarder (for Plooij-van Gorsel), Heinisch (for Mombaur), Linkohr, McAvan, Matikainen-Kallström, Pompidou, Robles Piquer (for Soulier), Rothe, Rovsing, Schäfer (for Stockmann, pursuant to Rule 138(2)) and Tannert.

INTRODUCTION

On the basis of the provisions of Article 130s of the TEU concerning water protection, the Commission is proposing a framework directive for the implementation of water policy which is the result of more than a quarter of a century of legislative developments in this field and is closely linked to the development of the European Union's environment policy.

The general objective of the Commission's document is to achieve good quality standards for surface water and groundwater and at the same time provide better protection for water designed to meet human needs, those of ecosystems and waters used for economic purposes.

In the complex framework of the proposal for a directive, the Commission sets a whole series of deadlines: the year 2014 for the revision of the Directive itself, 2010 for the general objective of the status or quality of water and for pricing to include all the costs of the various uses of water, 2006 for the publication of a six-yearly report on implementation, 2004 for the execution of the river basin management plans, the year 2000 for the analysis of the river basin districts, 2001 for determining the abstraction of drinking water and organizing a biannual conference for those working in the sector and 1999 for drawing up various technical specifications and submitting an indicative plan of proposals for the protection and use of water, etc.

COMMENTS

Since the European Union adopted the fifth action programme for the environment (1993-2000) and the White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment appeared in 1993, references to sustainable economic development have been linked to environmental needs and hence to Community water policy.

The result of the policy pursued by means of the application of the legislative acquis in this sector lacks a clear vision of the fundamental problems emerging in broad areas of the Union and which will remain unresolved throughout the next century unless radical measures are taken.

It is hence difficult to understand why the Commission should word its proposal in such a way as to make the issue of the quantity of water subordinate to the qualitative aspects of the resource, since this approach is currently being superseded by events.

It is nowadays incongruous to make the protection of the environment the main objective of the framework directive whilst sidestepping or disregarding a quantitative analysis of the resource.

It is not very encouraging for the sustainable development prospects in certain areas of the European Union that the Commission should, in a framework directive, refrain from trying to prevent and alleviate the impact of floods and droughts because this 'depends extensively on regional and local physical planning and action'. This is inaccurate or at least is not the full story. The Community has a role to play in alleviating the impact of these disasters, by virtue of its obligation to improve the standard and quality of life of its citizens and to ensure a high level of environmental protection.

There is therefore an urgent need, at the appropriate moment, to redirect the contents of the proposal for a framework directive in order to make room for consistent and integrated quantitative policies at European level for a resource which cannot be confined to the biological cycle only, but is becoming a geostrategic factor for the 21st century, the 'century of water' as UNESCO has called it.

In this context the parochialism of the proposal for a directive is also open to criticism in that it refers to the management and coordination of measures by river basin districts. There should also be opportunities for the integrated management of massive volumes of water between water basin districts.

The environmental objectives of the proposal should include, first and foremost, the alleviation of the harmful impact of surpluses or shortages which are evident in the volumes and flows of surface water or underground water resources which affect or may affect one or more of the demarcated hydrographical areas identified.

This environmental objective should be incorporated in the definition of the concept of general water status, so as to include measurement of the flows or levels required.

As regards both river basin management plans and plans for future Community measures, there is clearly a need to study the viability of infrastructure projects which will make the joint management of resources in the long term feasible within the context of what could develop into a European Water Plan.

We need to obtain a satisfactory overview of the diversity of geographical and climatic situations in the Community, which means taking due account of the problems stemming from the droughts which periodically affect southern Europe.

As regards the economic instruments the Commission focuses exclusively on the full recovery of water service costs, but that is only half the story: it omits other possible measures such as, for example, those intended to regulate demand by means of incentives and penalties linked to the volume consumed, to mention only one possibility. Furthermore, it tries to shift all water costs on to consumers alone, without taking into account the environmental benefits of population protection which may be derived from certain water services. Since it fails to make a distinction between these aspects and the state aid which is already regulated by the Treaty and the case law established by the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, the result will only be confusion. Given the variety and diversity of the situations which occur within the Community, such matters can only be properly dealt with by the individual Member States on the basis of a general guideline.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Research, Technological Development and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Commission Text

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 17

(17) Whereas, with regard to pollution prevention and control, Community water policy should be based on a combined approach using control of pollution at source through the setting of emission limit values and of environmental quality standards; whereas, for water quantity, overall principles should be laid down for control on abstraction in order to ensure the long-term availability of sufficient amounts of good quality fresh water;

(17) Whereas, with regard to pollution prevention and control, Community water policy should be based on a combined approach using control of pollution at source through the setting of uniform EU-wide emission limit values and of uniform EU-wide environmental quality standards; whereas, for water quantity, overall principles based on sustainability and the 'polluter pays' principle should be laid down for control on abstraction in order to ensure by environmentfriendly means that sufficient amounts of good quality fresh water will be available in the long term;

(Amendment 2)
Recital 18a

(18a) Whereas the precautionary principle and the principle of prevention at source require that pollution through the discharge of various dangerous substances be eliminated; whereas the Council should, on a proposal by the Commission, agree on the substances to be considered for action as a priority; whereas the Council should, on proposals from the Commission, adopt measures for progressive elimination of pollution by those substances, taking into account all significant sources and the costeffectiveness and proportionality of the available reduction options;

(18a) Whereas the precautionary principle and the principle of prevention at source require that pollution through the discharge of various dangerous substances, be eliminated; whereas the Council and the European Parliament should, on a proposal by the Commission, agree on the substances to be considered for action as a priority; whereas the Commission proposal should be submitted not later than 31 December 1998 and revised every three years thereafter; whereas the Council and the European Parliament should, on proposals from the Commission, adopt measures for progressive elimination of pollution by those substances, taking into account all significant sources and the costeffectiveness and proportionality of the available reduction options;

(Amendment 3)
Recital 30

(30) Whereas, in cases where, because of natural conditions, for historical reasons or because of pollution from third countries, it may be difficult or impossible to achieve a good status, appropriate procedures should be established to prevent any deterioration of the status of waters;

(30) Whereas, in cases where, because of natural conditions, for historical reasons or because of pollution from third countries, it may be difficult or impossible to achieve a good status, appropriate procedures should be established to prevent any deterioration of the status of waters and measures taken with a view to improving their status;

(Amendment 4)
Recital 37a (new)

(37a) Whereas, other than in cases of emergency, human water consumption in a river basin should be covered by the water supplies available in that basin;

(Amendment 5)
Recital 37b (new)

(37b) Whereas, given that it is a signatory to the Declaration of the Fourth North Sea Conference (Esbjerg, 1995) and a party to the OSPAR and HELCOM Conventions, the EU accepts the need and duty to comply fully and as swiftly as possible with the obligations deriving from those agreements;

(Amendment 6)
Recital 37c

(37c) Whereas it is necessary to establish comprehensive Union-wide protection of waters based on precautionary measures, providing for a limited number of clearly defined exceptions within specific territorial bounds, without distinction as regards waters whose structure is inevitably severely impaired on account of certain unavoidable uses (flood prevention, exploitation of water power, abstraction of drinking-water, or shipping);

(Amendment 7)
Recital 37d

(37d) Whereas the principle of sound water policy should not be permanently waived purely to promote the sustainable development of an economic region as a whole;

(Amendment 8)
Article 1 - Purpose - Paragraph (a)(iii) (new)

(iii) helps to alleviate the adverse effects of flooding and drought.

(Amendment 9)
Article 1(b)

(b) promotes sustainable water consumption based on long-term protection of available water resources;

(b) promotes sustainable and efficient water consumption based on long-term protection of available water resources;

(Amendment 10)
Article 2 - Definitions - Paragraph 13

13. 'Surface water status' is the general expression of the status of a body of surface water, determined by the poorer of its ecological status and its chemical status.

13. 'Surface water status' is the general expression of the status of a body of surface water, determined by the poorest value of its volume, rate of flow or level of flow and its ecological status and chemical status.

(Amendment 11)
Article 2 - Definitions - Paragraph 24

24. 'Quantitative status' is an expression of the degree to which a body of groundwater is permanently depleted by direct or indirect abstractions and alterations to its natural rate of recharge.

24. 'Quantitative status' is an expression of the degree to which a body of groundwater is permanently depleted by a lack of rainfall, direct or indirect abstractions and alterations to its natural rate of recharge.

(Amendment 12)
Article 3(1)

1. Member States shall identify the individual river basins lying within their national territory and, for the purposes of this Directive, shall assign them to individual river basin districts. Small river basins may be combined with larger river basins or joined with neighbouring small basins to form individual river basin districts where appropriate. Where groundwaters do not fully follow a particular river basin, they shall be assigned to the nearest or most appropriate river basin district. Coastal, territorial and other marine waters shall be assigned to the nearest or most appropriate river basin district. However, without prejudice to point (e) of Article 4(1), obligations in respect of river basin districts shall only apply to territorial and other marine waters in so far as those obligations are already set out in other Community legislation.

1. Member States shall identify the individual river basins lying within their national territory and, for the purposes of this Directive, shall assign them to individual river basin districts. Small river basins may be combined with larger river basins or joined with neighbouring small basins to form individual river basin districts where appropriate. Where groundwaters do not fully follow a particular river basin, they shall be assigned to the nearest or most appropriate river basin district. Coastal waters shall be assigned to the nearest or most appropriate river basin district.

(Amendment 13)
Article 3(3) first subparagraph a (new)

Various international river basin districts may be grouped together in order to carry out integrated action and joint physical planning at European level designed to draw up a transEuropean water management plan.

(Amendment 14)
Article 3(3), third subparagraph (new)

With the exception of the necessary coordination of measures applying to waters extending across borders, the activities of the above authorities shall be confined to their respective national territory. No restrictions may be imposed on the power of a Member State to administer its water resources.

(Amendment 15)
Article 4(1)(b)a (new)

(b)a. integrate the measures for predicting and managing surface water and groundwater masses, including those relating to the prevention and alleviation of the harmful impact of floods and drought and to the protection of biological diversity;

(Amendment 16)
Article 4(5) (new)

5. A temporary derogation from the objectives laid down in paragraph 1 may be allowed during periods of drought which lead to a 60% accumulated reduction in the amount of rainfall in the water basin during a six-month period.

(Amendment 17)
Article 5(1)

1. Member States shall ensure that an analysis of the characteristics of each River Basin District is undertaken and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such analyses shall cover the following elements:

1. Member States shall ensure that an analysis of the characteristics of each River Basin District is undertaken and that it is completed no later than five years after the entry into force of this Directive. Such analyses shall cover the following elements:

(a) the geographical and geological characteristics of the River Basin District;

(a) the geographical and geological characteristics of the River Basin District;

(b) the hydrographical characteristics of the River Basin District;

(b) the hydrographical characteristics of the River Basin District;

(c) the demographic characteristics of the River Basin District;

(c) the demographic characteristics of the River Basin District;

(d) land use and economic activity within the River Basin District.

(d) land use and economic activity within the River Basin District.

In order to ensure that the maximum use can be made of all available information and to avoid duplication of data collection, cooperation shall be ensured with statistical authorities at national and Community level.

In order to ensure that the maximum use can be made of all available information and to avoid duplication of data collection, cooperation shall be ensured with statistical authorities at national and Community level.

(Amendment 18)
Article 6(1)

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District, a review of the impact of human activity on the status of surface waters and on ground water is undertaken and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such reviews shall cover the following elements:

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District, a review of the impact of human activity on the status of surface waters and on ground water is undertaken and that it is completed no later than five years after the entry into force of this Directive. Such reviews shall cover the following elements:

(a) estimations of point source pollution;

(a) estimations of point source pollution;

(b) estimations of diffuse source pollutions;

(b) estimations of diffuse source pollutions;

(c) estimations of water obstructions; and

(c) estimations of water obstructions; and

(d) an analysis of other anthropogenic effluences on the status of water.

(d) an analysis of other anthropogenic effluences on the status of water.

(Amendment 19)
Article 10(1)

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive overview of water status within each River Basin District. For surface waters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the ecological and chemical status. For groundwaters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the chemical and quantitative status. These programmes shall be operational by 31 December 2001. Such monitoring shall cover the elements listed in Annex V.

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive overview of water status within each River Basin District. For surface waters such programmes shall cover quantitative monitoring of the volume and level or rate of flow, and the ecological and chemical status. For groundwaters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the chemical and quantitative status. These programmes shall be operational by 31 December 2001. Such monitoring shall cover the elements listed in Annex V.

(Amendment 20)
Article 10(2)a (new)

2a. The technical specifications shall include the use of standardized methods for analysing and monitoring quality recognized by all the Member States.

(Amendment 21)
Article 10(3) (new)

3. When monitoring river basin districts, Member States shall measure water quality at specific key measurement places (such as border crossing-points and places where large rivers flow into the sea) and make the findings available to both the Commission and the European Environment Agency.

(Amendment 22)
Article 12(1)

1. By 2010, Member States shall ensure full cost recovery for all costs for services provided for water uses overall and by economic sectors, broken down at least into households, industry and agriculture.

1. Within twelve years of the entry into force of this Directive, Member States shall ensure service cost recovery which is in accordance with the purposes for which water is used. To this end they shall take into account the social, environmental and economic impact of such recovery and also the geographical and climatic situation of the region or regions affected.

(Amendment 23)
Article 12a (new)

1. Member States shall ensure that significant point source emissions, to be covered by control within the meaning of paragraph 2 of this Article, are controlled in accordance with this Article.

2. Not later than ten years after the date specified in Article 29 of this Directive, barring express provision to the contrary in the legislation concerned, Member States shall establish emission controls based on the best available technology (BAT) or the relevant emission limit values set out in the sources of law listed below:- Directive 96/61/EC,- Directive 91/271/EEC,- laws adopted under Article 21 of this Directive, or- any other Community legal basis.

3. Where quality targets or standards impose stricter requirements than those referred to in paragraph 2, the more stringent targets and standards shall apply.

(Amendment 24)
Article 13(3)(g)a (new)

(g)a. The measures needed for the analysis, in river basins and river basin districts, of the viability of infrastructure for the interchange of bodies of water.

(Amendment 25)
Article 16(1)a (new)

1a. The Commission shall be responsible for laying down study and viability projects for drawing up a plan to manage international river basin districts in the context of a transEuropean water management plan before the year 2000.

(Amendment 26)
Article 21(5), first subparagraph

5. For the substances on the priority list, the Commission shall submit proposals for controls on the principal sources of the emissions concerned. In doing so it shall take account of both product sources and process sources and shall identify the cost-effective and proportionate combination of controls. Where appropriate, action at Community level for process controls may be established on a sector-by-sector basis.

5. For the substances on the priority list, the Commission shall submit proposals in the year following publication of each three-year list, or where necessary at more frequent intervals, for controls on the principal sources of the emissions concerned. In doing so it shall take account of both product sources and process sources and shall identify the cost-effective and proportionate combination of controls. Where appropriate, action at Community level for process controls may be established on a sector-by-sector basis. The above-mentioned proposals shall lay down Europe-wide emission limit values and quality standards based on the best available technology (BAT), which shall replace the earlier rules on emissions and quality standards set out in Directive 76/464/EEC.

(Amendment 27)
Annex VIII - Pollutants, point 13 (new)

13. Radioactive substances produced by human agency.

29 October 1997

 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C40120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN); report by Mr White)

Committee on Fisheries

Draftsman: Mr Gérard d'Aboville

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of 23 and 24 June 1997 the Committee on Fisheries appointed Mr Gérard d'Aboville draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 21 and 22 July, 29 and 30 September and 27 and 28 October 1997.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following took part in the vote: Fraga Estévez, chairman; Kindermann, vice-chairman; d'Aboville, draftsman; Apolinário, Baldarelli, McCartin (for Bébéar), Pérez Royo (for Adam), Teverson and Valdivielso de Cué (for Burtone).

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSAL

The Commission has presented a proposal for a framework directive on water, which in this context means surface fresh waters, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater. The main objectives of the directive are to achieve, by 31 December 2010 at the latest, 'good surface water status' and 'good groundwater status' everywhere in the Community and compliance with the standards or objectives for 'protected areas'.

The objectives shall be achieved through the adoption, at Member State level, of River Basin Management Plans. Coastal waters (0-1 nautical miles from the coast) shall be assigned to the nearest or most appropriate river basin. By 31 December 2001, a review of each River Basin District shall have been carried out and a register of all areas requiring special protection in order to safeguard water quality or conservation of habitats and species must have been established.

The Commission will propose, by the end of 1999, the technical specifications on which all collection and analysis of data should be based, with particular reference to:

- the definition of River Basin Districts and the analysis of their physical characteristics;

- analysis and monitoring of water quality;

- quantitative and qualitative evaluation of pollution.

Each Management Plan shall contain a programme of measures which shall be fully operational by 31 December 2007 at the latest. By 2010 the objective of 'good status' shall have been achieved and, moreover, full cost recovery for all costs for services provided for water users must be ensured.

The task of implementing the provisions is to a very large extent attributed to the individual Member States. Further Community measures can be taken by committee procedure, mainly in the form of additional or modified emission limits and environmental quality standards.

RELEVANCE TO THE FISHERIES SECTOR

Obviously, any legislation intended to improve water quality is to be welcomed by the fisheries and aquaculture industries.

The protection of the aquatic environment is an essential condition for the activity of fishermen, who cannot, strictly speaking, be defined as 'users' of water, since they are neither drawers of water nor polluters of it; they should, rather, be recognized as an economic category highly dependent on the state of the water which provides their working environment and, therefore, extremely vulnerable to the ecological effects of other economic activities.

Several fish species that are found in fresh water have a considerable value, or represent nonnegligible potential values, to freshwater fisheries as well as to marine fisheries. Salmon, sea trout, eel and Atlantic sturgeon, which reproduce in rivers and are caught mainly in the sea, are examples of this. Furthermore, estuaries and coastal waters are spawning grounds for a number of marine species, the reconstitution of whose stocks is thus closely bound up with the quality of the inflowing water.

This vulnerability does not only concern fishing within water basins: the protection of marine habitats and their commercially exploitable living resources presupposes adequate measures against pollution of rivers and coastal waters, since the seas are generally end-recipients of pollutants emitted into such waters.

Aquaculture producers are also highly dependent on access to unpolluted water, as well as on the legal and economic conditions to which their use of water is subjected.

With regard to the notion of the 'good status' of waters, which is the objective of the measures proposed in the directive, your rapporteur has a number of reservations concerning the Commission's proposed definition (Article 2), according to which 'good' water status will be considered to have been achieved where the water concerned has good ecological and chemical status. 'Good' chemical status may be simple to determine, but the same does not apply to ecological status. The text defines 'good ecological status' as applying where a body of water 'is demonstrated to be significantly influenced by human activity' but 'nevertheless has a rich, balanced and sustainable ecosystem'. Your rapporteur agrees with the Commission as to the difficulty of establishing a frame of reference of a sufficiently detailed and flexible nature to ensure adaptation to the individual characteristics of every basin. He accordingly calls on the Commission to ensure that, as far as possible, there is a certain degree of balance and standardization as between the various assessments carried out by the Member State authorities, with a view to fulfilling environment protection requirements while simultaneously guaranteeing equitable treatment for all the economic categories concerned by the directive.

ENSURING EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROTECTIVE MEASURES

At first sight, the present framework directive, which has arisen from the need for a consistent overall approach to the question of protecting surface waters and groundwaters in the Community, does not appear to offer any new elements of protection for fish and shellfish. The directive confines itself to laying down coordination mechanisms for the definition and management of river basins; the technical parameters for defining water quality and the protection measures to be adopted will, for the most part, continue to be based on the existing directives.

However, the Commission proposes the repeal of the two directives relating to fisheries and aquaculture (78/659/EEC on fish waters and 79/923/EEC on shellfish waters), on the grounds that 'they do not ... offer any sort of uniform or universal protection' and that their implementation varies considerably from one Member State to another. Fish and shellfish are accordingly to be protected by achieving the above-mentioned 'good status' of waters. Member States will, nonetheless, still be 'allow[ed[' to use specific quality parameters, should they so wish, for the definition and protection of their waters.

Your rapporteur has a number of doubts concerning the effectiveness of this approach, which allows the Member States even more discretionary powers despite the overpowering need to protect the aquatic environment and the fact that unevenness of treatment could be highly prejudicial to some agents. The same risk applies to the definition of the register of protected areas (Annex IV); while the parameters for defining such areas are obvious enough in some cases (areas for the abstraction of water intended for human consumption; bathing water; etc), in the case of 'areas designated for the protection of economically significant aquatic species' there is more likelihood of estimates varying excessively from one region to another.

The Commission must act to take due account of the need for specific and uniform protection of fish and shellfish: in this connection, the technical specifications which it is to adopt by the year 2000 could furnish a significant guarantee. Unfortunately, there is no provision for Parliament to be consulted on the matter.

On the subject of water use, your rapporteur welcomes the Commission's declared intent to quantify and recover the costs of water use in terms of environmental impact and resource depletion.

Under the framework directive, the Management Plan for each River Basin District is to be founded on a review of the environmental impact of human activity and on an economic analysis of water use within the district (Articles 6 and 7). This analysis is to provide the information which is needed for the implementation of the principle of full recovery of all costs arising from the use of water, including environmental and resource costs (Article 12).

Nonetheless, your rapporteur considers that the Commission should use this phase to make a start on the full and coherent 'globalization' of the problem of water use. He also advocates research into the impact of water use within a river basin outside that basin, that is, on the sea. Although estimating the adverse effects of pollution on fish stocks and determining the size of lost catches are extremely difficult tasks, the cost of damage to commercially exploitable marine resources must be acknowledged. In fact, as pointed out above, pollutants normally end up in the sea and can cause considerable damage there, especially in the case of gulfs or relatively closed seas. Nevertheless, the environmental impact review and the cost analysis will only cover the River Basin Districts. This appears to be a major inconsistency in the proposal for a directive: Articles 6, 7 and 12 and Annex II therefore need to be amended.

This more 'global' approach is all the more necessary given that the size of a river basin is not always clearly defined, especially in the case of estuaries (Article 2(5)). Assessment of pollution outside the basin would make it possible to protect these areas, which are characterized by particularly delicate ecosystems (often containing the reproduction areas of a number of fish species), and which are the backdrop to numerous fisheries and aquaculture activities; an excessively narrow definition of 'river basin' could disadvantage them.

CREATING EQUITABLE RULES FOR THE AQUACULTURE SECTOR

Aquaculture in the EU makes a major contribution to the supply of fisheries products on the Community market (12.4% of volume and 25% of total value in 1993, according to a STOA study); demand for the products concerned is on the rise, while certain open-sea resources often suffer from overfishing.

The aquaculture sector is nonetheless subject to a number of technical and economic constraints, some of which could be alleviated by the framework directive.

Aquaculture calls for large quantities of high-quality water. According to the framework directive, the necessary protection will be ensured by achieving the objective of 'good status' for the waters concerned. The technical specifications to be set by the Commission to define 'good status' must therefore take due account of the particular requirements of this sector, at least where it is likely to be concerned.

Pollution can also arise from aquaculture. Your rapporteur supports extending the 'polluter pays' principle, as proposed in the framework directive, to this sector too; he also, however, draws attention to the need for a full evaluation of the particular characteristics of aquaculture plants in their function as water users, since this activity is not obviously classifiable as either agriculture or industry (see Article 7). The Commission must, therefore, in its technical specifications, supply a precise definition of the status of aquaculture, in the interests of a fair and uniform charging system.

With regard to the likely costs of implementing the framework directive, the Commission says that a reliable estimate cannot be made until the studies on the state of the environment are completed and the extent of the protection measures required has been determined.

Your rapporteur considers that the Commission should take account of the possibility that implementation of the proposed measures could impose a heavy financial burden on certain of the more vulnerable economic groups, whose survival could even be jeopardized. This is particularly the case for aquaculture, which is under considerable pressure from third countries whose aquaculture producers can, thanks to lower production costs and less stringent environmental standards, put products on the world markets at much more competitive prices. The Commission must undertake to examine long-term solutions which, while most certainly not lifting their environmental obligations, would help aquaculture producers to create effective means of preventing and limiting pollution; this would facilitate a gradual reduction in the water use charges affecting them.

Finally, the framework directive specifies that it is for the Member States to determine the precise arrangements for applying the charges, with a view to recovering all costs in full. Nonetheless, it is essential for the Commission to ensure that the greater or lesser importance placed by a Member State on aquaculture does not result in excessive variations as regards the methods used for calculating and recovering the costs of water use in the sector. This is important if certain regions of the EU are not to be penalized in economic terms by contrast with others.

CONCLUSIONS

The Committee on Fisheries calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection to include the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendments by Parliament

(Amendment 1)
Recital 11a (new)

Whereas any effective and coherent water policy must take account of the vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems located near coasts or estuaries or in gulfs or relatively closed seas, as their equilibrium is strongly influenced by the quality of the river basin water flowing into them;

(Amendment 2)
Recital 13a (new)

.

Whereas coastal fisheries, despite taking place outside river basins, should be recognized as being one of the economic activities most affected by all forms of environmental deterioration within such basins;

(Amendment 3)
Recital 25a (new)

Whereas particular attention should be paid to fishermen, who cannot be classified as 'users' of water in the strict sense, since their activity is not detrimental to this resource in quantitative or qualitative terms, but are nonetheless highly dependent on the state of the water which provides their working environment;

(Amendment 4)
Recital 30a (new)

Whereas should natural disasters such as droughts or floods occur, it could prove difficult if not impossible to achieve good status of water and whereas, therefore, provision should be made to allow for the granting an additional deadline in the implementation of environmental protection measures;

(Amendment 5)
Recital 32a (new)

Whereas it is at present impossible to estimate the financial costs, but, once the protection measures have been defined, economic analysis of them may identify a financial burden which could imperil the equilibrium of certain economic groups;

(Amendment 6)
Article 4(3)(a)

(a) natural conditions do not allow rapid improvements in the status of the body of water;

(a) natural conditions or the occurrence of any natural disasters such as droughts or floods do not allow rapid improvements in the status of the body of water;

(Amendment 7)
Article 6(1) and (2)

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District, a review of the impact of human activity on the status of surface waters and on groundwater is undertaken and that it is completed by 31 December 2001. Such reviews shall cover the following elements:

1. Member States shall ensure that, for each River Basin District, a review of the impact of human activity on the status of surface waters and on groundwater and an assessment of the impact of such activity on the adjoining maritime areas into which the waters of the River Basin District flow are undertaken and that they are completed by 31 December 2001. Such reviews shall cover the following elements:

a) estimations of point source pollution;

a) estimations of point source pollution;

b) estimations of diffuse source pollution;

b) estimations of diffuse source pollution;

c) estimations of water abstractions; and

c) estimations of water abstractions; and

d) an analysis of other anthropogenic influences on the status of water.

d) an analysis of other anthropogenic influences on the status of water;

e) estimation of the environmental deterioration arising from use of the water concerned, especially as regards aquatic ecosystems.

2. The technical specifications of Annex III shall, for the purpose of the review, be adopted by the Commission by 31 December 1999 at the latest, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 25. The technical specifications shall replace the current Annex III.

2. The technical specifications of Annex III shall, for the purpose of the reviews referred to in paragraph 1, be adopted by the Commission by 31 December 1999 at the latest, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 25. The technical specifications shall replace the current Annex III.

(Amendment 8)
Article 7(c)

c) the volumes, prices and costs (including environmental and resource costs and benefits) associated with points (a) and (b);

c) the volumes, prices and costs (including environmental and resource costs and benefits both within the River Basin District and in the adjoining maritime areas into which the waters of the district flow and which are therefore affected by the human activity that takes place in the district) associated with points (a) and (b);

(Amendment 9)
Article 10(1)

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive review of water status within each River Basin District. For surface waters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the ecological and chemical status. For groundwaters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the chemical and quantitative status. These programmes shall be operational by 31 December 2001. Such monitoring shall cover the elements listed in Annex V.

1. Member States shall ensure the establishment of programmes for the monitoring of water status in order to establish a coherent and comprehensive review of water status for each River Basin District, as well as for the adjoining maritime areas into which the waters of the River Basin District flow. For surface waters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the ecological and chemical status. For groundwaters such programmes shall cover monitoring of the chemical and quantitative status. These programmes shall be operational by 31 December 2001. Such monitoring shall cover the elements listed in Annex V.

(Amendment 10)
Article 14a (new)

COSTS.

The Commission shall, by 31 December 2005 and on the basis of the Management Plans drawn up by the Member States, make an estimate of the likely costs to each of the economic categories of user of the introduction of the proposed protection measures. On the basis of this estimate, the Commission shall, by 31 December 2006, submit to the Council and the European Parliament proposals for action in support of the more vulnerable economic categories, with a view to facilitating the implementation of the measures.

(Amendment 11)
Article 17

1. Member States shall ensure that for each River Basin District draft copies of the River Basin Management Plan are published and access granted at least one year before the beginning of the period to which the Plan refers. Upon request access shall be given to background documents and information used for the development of the draft River Basin Management Plan.

1. Member States shall ensure that for each River Basin District draft copies of the River Basin Management Plan are published and access granted at least one year before the beginning of the period to which the Plan refers. Upon request access shall be given to background documents and information used for the development of the draft River Basin Management Plan.

2. Interested parties shall have at least six months to comment in writing on those documents in order to allow active involvement and consultation.

2. Interested parties (categories of water user or those whose economic activity is dependent on water status in qualitative and quantitative terms) shall have at least six months to comment in writing on those documents in order to allow active involvement and consultation.

3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply equally to updated River Basin Management Plans.

3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 shall apply equally to updated River Basin Management Plans.

23 June 1998

 OPINION

(Rule 147)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection

on the proposal and the amended proposals for a Council Directive on establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (COM(97)0049 - C4-0192/97, COM(97)0614 - C40120/98 and COM(98)0076 - C4-0121/98 - 97/0067(SYN); report by Mr White)

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

Draftsman: Mr Arlindo Cunha

PROCEDURE

At its meeting of {18/03/98}18 March 1998 the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development appointed Mr Arlindo Cunha draftsman.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 2-3 and 23-24 June 1998.

At the last meeting it adopted the following conclusions unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Colino Salamanca, chairman; Graefe zu Baringdorf, vicechairman; Goepel (for the draftsman, Mr Cunha), Anttila, Arias Cañete (for Redondo Jiménez), Barthet-Mayer, Böge (for Ebner), Funk, Gillis, Hallam, Jové Peres, Keppelhoff-Wiechert, Kindermann, Kofoed, Mayer, Rosado Fernandes, Schierhuber and Sturdy.

Introduction

Water is an essential commodity and without water there can be no agriculture. Its use varies from one region to another and according to climate, type of production and cultivation method. It may serve as the main cultivation agent in the case of hydroponics or be used for temperature stabilization, as in the case of rice growing. It may provide natural irrigation, in the form of rainwater, or require human intervention and appropriate equipment (dams to contain the water of artificial lakes, water towers, canals, sprinklers, etc.).

Water is becoming increasingly rare, which is why urgent steps need to be taken to preserve its quality and introduce stringent rules governing its use. Although unable to alter meterological conditions, Man has a considerable impact on nature, causing imbalances, which are at times necessary, and then seeking to repair the damage caused. The proposal for a framework directive deals with this human intervention. Although it alters the environment, through irrigation and drainage, it would be taking it too far to hold it responsible for all forms of pollution and to expect someone to pick up the bill.

The Commission proposal

The Commission proposal establishes a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, reformulating and consolidating various existing directives on the quality of surface water, bathing water, fish and shellfish water and drinking water, as well as on urban waste water treatment, emission control and nitrate contamination.

The directive's novelty consists in its approach based on the concept of river basins, the sound management of which will make it possible to protect surface and ground waters - whether in one single country or on a cross-border basis - in terms of both quantity and quality.

Remarks

A large proportion of European agriculture, essentially situated in the southern part of the continent, with a Mediterranean hydrological regime - is totally dependent on irrigation: crops sown in the spring, for vegetables, oil producing or fodder plants, pasture and a proportion of fruit crops. Farmers are the first to acknowledge the need for a balanced use of water. The increasingly sophisticated irrigation systems available mean that smaller quantities of water are needed by farmers and less water is squandered.

The Mediterranean hydrological regime is characterized by the absence of rain during the summer months and regular rainfall during the winter. In order to be able to make regular use of water through irrigation during the summer, farmers resort to storing water in artificial lakes supplied by river water.

The quality of water in such reservoirs varies according to the annual cycle of usage: in winter and spring, its quality is good if the reservoir is normally supplied, (provided there are no drought or flood periods); in summer and autumn, the quality of water in reservoirs is particularly affected by irrigation needs and this coincides with the reservoirs' lowest supply period as a result of lack of rain and reduced river flows. Its quality is restored by the following winter's rainfalls.

In this farming perspective, it is important that irrigation reservoirs, as bodies of water created for production purposes, should not be subsumed in the 'lakes' category but should form a category in their own right. This would make it possible to achieve a more satisfactory link between quantitative and qualitative aspects, viewed in this cyclical perspective.

Management of cross-border waters is very important in this context: a reduction in the rate of flow is felt at the borders close to water masses and countries lying upstream may, under no circumstances, allow poor management to jeopardize countries downstream by endangering supplies of water to populations, crops and hydroelectric plants and thereby undermining the quality of water. Floods, like droughts, should be dealt with jointly by such countries.

We consider that a shortcoming of the document is that it fails to refer to farmers as one of the main categories of users of water for the benefit of consumers in general, given that it is used to produce food. This is made worse by the fact that no distinction is made between use and pollution. The fact that water is used by farmers for irrigation does not, in itself, justify the application of the 'polluter pays' principle. This is totally different from water pollution by nitrates and there is a law to deal with such cases.

These considerations lead the draftsman to propose rejecting the present wording of Article 12 of the proposal for a framework directive. Otherwise, irrigation systems would, in order to survive, need to be considered as exceptional situations on environmental and/or regional development grounds, which would be absurd.

New hydraulic plants, even when used for irrigation purposes, are in the public interest and, as such, should be covered by public funds. In calculating the amortization of the costs of water services, the social, environmental and economic impact on the region must be taken into account. Another source of great concern for the farming world and, in particular, farmers using irrigation within the Mediterranean hydrological regime - as mentioned above - is the payment of water at its actual cost. The increase in agricultural prices this would entail would prevent any further production. Moreover, farmers who are members of irrigators' associations already pay their share for the use of water and there are limits to the size of area under crops and the number of heads of cattle.

The same can be said of the building of 'polders' and other collective drainage systems which would make farm holdings totally unviable if they were to be entirely financed by farmers.

Both water surpluses and water scarcity need to be controlled, as illustrated by drainage. Floods are sometimes caused by excessive human intervention: rivers are diverted on to concrete river beds, land becomes waterproof owing to excessive building work, etc. However, in this connection, the Commission proposal makes no distinction between what is caused by the agricultural and the urban environments.

Conclusions

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following conclusions in its report:

1. Stresses that farmers use water for the benefit of consumers in general since it is used for agricultural products and they are the first to be concerned about obtaining water in good conditions and maintaining its quality;

2. Considers that in the interests of long-term conservation of water resources there is a need for comprehensive protection of groundwater from the input of agricultural pollutants;

3. Acknowledges that, in addition to the aforementioned objectives of protecting water against degradation of aquatic ecosystems and long-term conservation of water resources, further steps need to be taken to reduce the adverse effects of floods and droughts by improving protection of catchment areas;

4. Calls, therefore for the promotion of low-evaporation watering systems which reduce the consumption of resources and the danger of salting in dry areas;

5. Considers that the application of the principle of amortization of the costs of water services should take into account the social, environmental and economic consequences of amortization, as well as the region's geographical and climatic conditions and the type of farming practised;

6. Rejects the idea of full cost recovery in respect of services provided for water, as advocated in Article 12 of the proposal for a directive, while agreeing with the principle of amortization of costs of water services, taking due account of the social, environmental and economic consequences of amortization and the geographical and climatic situation of the regions concerned;

7. Suggests, with regard to the definitions and annexes, that specific reference be made to:(a) bodies of water used for irrigators (aquaducts) and the way in which their quality and

quantity is to be assessed, and

(b) irrigation farming, as a distinct form of cyclical use of water;

8. Proposes involving user associations in the management of water basins and, in particular, as regards their agricultural use, irrigators' associations.

Last updated: 27 March 1999Legal notice