It is looking increasingly uncertain that any member state will achieve good status in all water bodies by 2015, and significant use of exemptions is likely to be required.
Improving this position to meet Commission-set targets for the next 15 years will rely not only on an improvement in the economic climate but also in a level of environmental understanding.
And while protecting vulnerable eco-systems is vitally important, a balance needs to be struck between environmental costs and costs to water customers, particularly when measures to protect the environment are not backed by comprehensive data supporting the case.
We are concerned that a forthcoming review of the WFD may be taken as an opportunity to seek ever tighter restrictions on water quality, without supporting evidence of the economic and social consequences of these decisions.
Our latest briefing paper sets out the issues for the UK water industry in more detail. We are keen to discuss these issues with community and environment groups and others who have an interest in future EU environmental legislation.
A revision of the Water Framework Directive
Water UK briefing