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Welcome to the River Basins network’s Web platform on WFD and agriculture!

Five months after the entry into force of the Water Framework Directive (2000), Members Sates and the Commission defined a Common Implementation Strategy in order to address the challenges in a co-operative and coordinated way. The first outcome was a series of guidance documents. A network of Pilot River basins (PRB) was charged of testing and cross-checking them. Based on the conclusion of the first phase (2002-2004), agriculture was defined as one of the recurrent topic to be addressed in the Water Framework Directive implementation. Thus, the Strategic Steering Group (SSG) on “WFD and Agriculture” was created (comprising working groups on Ecological status, Integrated River Basin Management and Groundwater and Reporting that were already in place).

In support to the SSG on “WFD and agriculture”, a network of nine PRBs was set up to provide practical information. The main “fil rouge” was to provide insight and practical examples on how to design and implement pressures and impact analyses studies in view of compiling adapted mitigation measures; and to propose a pilot open-ended catalogue of measures (Cherlet, 2007).

In January 2008, the Pilot River Basins network on agricultural issues entered into a new phase (2008-2009), focusing its technical support on the preparation of the Programmes of Measures and River Basin Management Plans. A series of workshops were organised and a report was published. Moreover, the present website was launched in October 2008.

In May 2010, the Water Directors endorsed a mandate for a new network whose kick-off meeting took place in September 2010. The next phase of the exercise will aim to assess a list of agricultural measures included in the river basin management plans and to focus on issues of particular interest for the WFD implementation in the agricultural sector. The overall objective of the network is to provide practical examples/cases of good practice. Currently, the network has 21 members from 14 Countries (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Spain, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (England and Wales, Scotland)). The Map is available here. RBN Map (March 2012)

The present Web site has two main objectives. First to simplify network’s members involvement and to offer them an overview of the network current issues and calls for contributions. Access to relevant documents on agriculture and water, information on EU coming events are offered as well as the opportunity to interact directly with the network through the Forum. Secondly, the Website presents the river basin community with a free access section, basically for dissemination purposes. There, users can find reports on the network outcomes and other documents  from the current and the previous phases.

We hope that you will take advantage of this Web platform!


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