Support of the Working Group on Heavily Modified Water Bodies of the Water Framework Directive Common Implementation Strategy
As part of the EU Water Framework Directive Common Implementation Strategy (EU WFD CIS), a working group was established to develop European guidance on the process of identification and designation of Heavily Modified & Artificial Water Bodies (HMWB & AWB). Ecologic has provided scientific, technical and conceptual support to the CIS Working Group on HMWB (WG 2.2).
In accordance with Article 4(3) of the EU WFD, the Directive allows Member States to identify surface water bodies which have been physically altered by human activity as "heavily modified" under specific circumstances. Under certain conditions, the WFD also permits Member States to identify and designate artificial water bodies, meaning bodies of surface water created by human activity.
The WFD CIS Working Group on Heavily Modified Water Bodies has been jointly chaired by the United Kingdom (represented by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Environment Agency of England & Wales) and Germany (represented by the German Federal Environment Agency). The HMWB Working Group (HMWB WG) involved the participation of representatives of the European Commission, 12 Member States, Norway, some Accession Countries as well as a number of stakeholders.
The scientific, technical and conceptual support of Ecologic to the HMWB WG since its inception in March 2000 has involved several tasks including: production of the EU guidance document on Heavily Modified and Artificial Water Bodies (HMWB & AWB), production of a toolbox supporting the HMWB & AWB guidance document, production of a synthesis report of 34 European case studies on HMWB, facilitation and conception of the HMWB WG meetings in Brussels. The guidance document on HMWB & AWB was produced in close co-ordination with the HMWB Working Group. The HMWB case studies served as an important practical information pool for producing the EU guidance document and tool box on HMWB & AWB.
The final guidance, policy summary and toolbox on HMWB & AWB are available on the WFD electronic forum of the European Commission - the WFD CIRCA. The EU guidance document on HMWB & AWB has also been translated into German - the German version is available on the HMWB & AWB webpage of the German Federal Environment Agency. The final synthesis report was published by Springer Verlag. The 34 European case studies on HMWB are available on the HMWB & AWB webpage of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).