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Managing water according to river basins: Information management, institutional arrangements and strategic policy support - with focus on the EU Water Framework Directive
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Today, there is a general notion that water resources are best managed according to their river basins. River basin management may be approached from a wide variety of angles. This thesis focuses on information management, institutional arrangements and strategic policy support, with special reference to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). The overall objective is to examine strategies, possibilities and hindrances for river basin management, with the ultimate goal of identifying key aspects to be considered - and prioritised - for “successful” European water management and WFD implementation. An assessment of the information management of three transboundary water regimes in Europe showed that a technical/scientific paradigm ap-pears to dominate in river basin accords. This is visible, for example, in the data collection, which is dominated by state and environmental impact information, and the use of passive channels for communicating with stakeholders and other interest groups. The studies addressing institutional arrangements for river basin management according to the WFD showed that the implementa-tion level of the directive is relatively low – both at national and international levels. For instance, competent authorities have not been established (strictly) according to the borders of the estab-lished River Basin District (RBDs). Further, in international RBDs, the ambitions and plans for cooperation vary considerably. Despite the general low implementation level, steps have still been taken in the “direction” of river basin management. At the national level, all examined countries have established RBDs according to river basins, and at the international level, joint river basin management plans will probably be coordinated for a majority of river basins shared by EU Member States. However, the same pattern could not be discerned for river basins extending outside the borders of the EU. In order to support strategic policy making on issues related to the implementation of the WFD, two assessments were made, one addressing international co-operation and water quality in the Baltic Sea Region, and one encompassing rankings of all the newly established RBDs based on a number of identical indicators. Although there is a need to refine these assessments, they may be regarded as simple – but yet robust – models for bench-marking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , x, 48 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1030
Keyword [en]
River basin management; EU Water Framework Directive (WFD); River Basin Dis-tricts (RBDs); International cooperation; Indicators; Baltic Sea Region (BSR)
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4183ISBN: 91-7178-506-X (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4183DiVA: diva2:11118
Public defence
2006-12-05, F3, Sing-Sing, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100914Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2010-09-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A comparative study of information management in three transboundary water regimes in Europe
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A comparative study of information management in three transboundary water regimes in Europe
2004 (English)In: Environmental Information in European Transboundary Water Management, London: IWA Publishing , 2004, 224-239 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: IWA Publishing, 2004
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6410 (URN)
Note
QC 20100914Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2012-02-12Bibliographically approved
2. Institutional arrangements for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive – examples from the Baltic Sea Region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional arrangements for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive – examples from the Baltic Sea Region
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6411 (URN)
Note
QC 20100914Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2010-09-14Bibliographically approved
3. International River Basin Districts under the EU water framework directive: Identification and planned cooperation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International River Basin Districts under the EU water framework directive: Identification and planned cooperation
2004 (English)In: European Water Management Online, ISSN 1461-6971, 1-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

IIn this article the number and geographical extent of prospective international River Basin Districts (RBDs), identified according to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), are determined, and the plans and ambitions for international cooperation examined. Further, for illustrating varying approaches in the identification of and cooperation on international RBDs two examples from the prospective RBDs of Estonia and the Danube River basin are given. The study showed that 30% of the prospective RBDs are international. Area wise, the international RBDs constitute 66% of the total area of prospective RBDs. It is, thus, quite clear that the number and area of prospective international RBDs identified under the WFD are significant. Based on this notion, we argue that the "soft" requirements in the WFD concerning international RBDs may undermine the directive's ambition of management according to river basins. The two examples from Estonia and Danube River also showed that the WFD allows for quite different interpretations in the identification and planning of RBDs.

Keyword
Danube River, Estonia, EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), International River Basin District (RBD), River Basin Management Plan (RBMP)
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6412 (URN)2-s2.0-9644289461 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20100914

Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved
4. International river basin management under the EU Water Framework Directive: An assessment of cooperation and water quality in the Baltic Sea drainage basin
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International river basin management under the EU Water Framework Directive: An assessment of cooperation and water quality in the Baltic Sea drainage basin
2006 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 35, no 6, 304-311 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We address issues connected with international river basin management and the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). By creating a register of River Basin Districts established under the WFD, we show that the number and area of international River Basin Districts are significant. Further, we present an assessment of international cooperation and water quality in 14 international river basins in the Baltic Sea Drainage Basin. Our results indicate that the WFD is a push forward for international river basin management in the region. However the WFD in general, and the principle of river basin management in particular, may be hard to implement in river basins shared between EU Member States and countries outside the EU. According to the study, Vistula, Pregola, and Nemunas appear to be the international basins within the Baltic Sea Drainage Basin in greatest need of intensified cooperation with regard to the state of the water quality.

Keyword
basin management, drainage basin, European Union, international cooperation, river basin, water quality
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6413 (URN)10.1579/06-A-128R.1 (DOI)000242038700006 ()17240763 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-33845345260 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100914Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. An indicator-based analysis of the river basin districts established under the EU water framework directive
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An indicator-based analysis of the river basin districts established under the EU water framework directive
2006 (English)In: European Water Management Online, ISSN 1461-6971, 1-20 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study gives a first indicator-based assessment of the differences and similarities between the River Basin Districts (RBDs) established under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). The RBDs are intended to be the management units for water resources within the EU. Yet, limited harmonized or easily comparable data currently exists for this new administrative level. While there are coordinated efforts to develop a Water Information System for Europe (WISE), there is still a need for making initial and complementary assessments of the RBDs, using a set of identical indicators for all RBDs. The analysis was performed with the help of geographic information systems (GIS) and publicly available spatial databases, environmental monitoring databases and other statistics. A major goal of the study was to rank the RBDs according to the pressure on and status of their water resources. The results show a clear north-south dichotomy and that the most serious water situations occur in Western Europe, although a few regional variations appear for some indicators. The current assessment was limited in terms of the information available and more comprehensive assessments of the RBDs for comparison and policy-making purposes are needed

Keyword
Freshwater resources, Index, Pressure indicators, River basin districts, Status indicators, Water framework directive
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6414 (URN)2-s2.0-33845309658 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20100914

Available from: 2006-11-22 Created: 2006-11-22 Last updated: 2014-04-08Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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