British Waterways Unlikely to Meet EU Regulations

Sept. 2, 2004

Conservationists claim that most rivers, lakes and other waterways in England and Wales are unlikely to meet EU regulations on water conditions, BBC News reported.

Water status reports from the Environment Agency show that although the regulations do not need to be met until 2015, the lack of investment to meet the targets may cause the U.K. to fall far below the regulatory levels when the time comes to meet the Water Framework Directive.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said that fines could be substantial if the UK failed to comply with the Directive, BBC News reported.

The Water Framework Directive has a much wider scope than the limited parameters presently used to measure water quality in the U.K. While current parameters mainly look at chemical concentrations, Directive parameters also look at how much water is being removed from waterways and whether fish have places to spawn.

Goals of the Directive include improving waterways and wetlands, ensuring water is used in a sustainable way, reducing water pollution and lessening the effects of floods and droughts, BBC News reported.

EU members must submit an appraisal of the condition of its waterways by March next year, with directive targets needing to be achieved by December 2015.

Source: BBC News