HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 c1580W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress she has made on implementing the Water Framework Directive; and if she will make a statement. [186356]

Mr. Morley

[holding answer 13 September 2004]: The Water Framework Directive sets out a staged timetable, up to 2015, for member states to transpose it into national law and implement its requirements.

The directive was transposed into English law at the turn of the year and implementation is well under way. Notification of the UK competent authorities was sent to the European Commission on 22 June 2004. The next key stage is the characterisation of river basin districts, identifying the pressures and impacts of human activity on the water environment, which must be completed by 22 December 2004. The Environment Agency, as competent authority for England and Wales, is working hard to ensure timely delivery of this analysis. They published initial characterisation results for public review on 1 September 2004.