Impact of the European Water Framework Directive on local-level water management: Case study Oxunda Catchment, Sweden
2012 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, Vol. 29, no 1, 73-82 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) of the European Union provides a common framework for waterpolicy that focuses on holistic and integrated water management in river basins. In many member states,implementation of the WFD has shifted the main responsibility for local water issues from the municipallevel to the regional or supra-regional levels. In this study, we investigated how the implementation of theWFD has influenced local-level water management including the interpretation of the new environmentalquality standards. Specifically, we considered Sweden, which has traditionally had relatively stronggovernance at the municipal level. Because a sufficient amount of time has now passed for evaluationof WFD-related effects on operational water handling, we interviewed individuals directly involved inwater planning and land use planning at the municipal level in one sub catchment in the Northern BalticSea River Basin District of Sweden, as well as representatives for superior levels and associations. Despitedivergent views regarding the priority of water issues in physical planning among the local-level plannersinterviewed, they had all participated in successful inter-municipal pre-WFD collaboration projects.Although such collaborations could help increase the understanding and acceptance of WFD-related goalsand costs, as well as facilitate conflict solving, as shown in the Oxunda Catchment, they have not gainedmuch attention in the WFD implementation process. Additionally, physical planners have generally beenreluctant to accept new environmental quality standards resulting from WFD implementation, in partbecause they lack precise definitions, but also because they could challenge the municipal routine ofweighing various objectives against each other. Furthermore, despite WFD-related increases in ambitionlevels, lack of resource improvements at the municipal level were identified as potential problems by local environmental planners.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 29, no 1, 73-82 p.
WFD implementation, Environmental quality standards, Spatial fit, Horizontal integration, Municipal level, Interviews
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63782DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.05.006ISI: 000296041300008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-63782DiVA: diva2:452444