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The Water Framework Directive

(2000/60/E) is the most substantial piece of water legislation ever produced by the European Commission, and will provide the major driver for achieving sustainable management of water in the UK and the other Member States for many years to come.

It requires that all inland and coastal waters within defined river basin districts must reach at least good status by 2015 and defines how this should be achieved through the establishment of environmental objectives and ecological targets for surface waters.

The result will be a healthy water environment achieved by taking due account of environmental, economic and social considerations.

The Information pages provide an understanding of the principal features of the Directive. Article 14 of the Directive requires Member States to encourage the active involvement of all interested parties in its implementation. In particular, public consultation is essential during the production, review and updating of river basin management plans which form the central theme of the Directive.

For public consultation to be meaningful people will need a basic understanding of the principal features of the Directive and how these relate to the situation in their own local river basin.

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