EUROPEAN COMMISSION REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION
9. In March 2007 the European Commission submitted
a Report on the first stage in the implementation of the Water
The Commission concluded that "reports from the Member States
on their initial obligations under the Water Framework Directive
show some encouraging results, although there are major shortcomings
in some areas. There is still time to remedy the gaps before 2010,
when the first river basin management plans have to be adopted."
10. The Commission noted
that in 2004 it launched a legal infringement case against the
UK and ten other Member States. This has since been resolved.
More specifically, the Commission focused its assessment on five
key provisions. The UK was judged positively in the way it has
transposed into domestic law the public participation provisions
and the definition of water services provision. It was considered
less successful in its implementation of Article 4 (environmental
objectives) and Article 9 (recovery of costs for water services),
although the Commission was not precise in its concerns with regard
to these Articles.
11. The Commission's Report included a section
(based on recent data submitted by Member States) on how likely
water bodies are to achieve the WFD's objectives. By way of example,
75% of the UK's surface water bodies, and 60% of groundwater bodies,
were considered to be at risk of failing the WFD objectives.
This compared with an average across the EU of 40% and 30% respectively,
although data were not complete.
12. Crucial to the Committee's consideration
of the proposed Priority Substances Directive was the Commission's
assessment of the quality of information provided by Member States
on the pressures and impacts for the relevant substances. The
Commission stated that the information provided was very incomplete.
For example, "inventories of significant pollutants emitted
and pollutant loads have often not been provided."
13. We make this report to the House for information.