e-Conference: The Future of Water Management in Europe: Reviewing WFD Implementation

19-21 September, 2017

The aim of this e-Conference was to gather constructive and practical suggestions from the scientific community for the improved monitoring and management of waters across Europe and ideas for more effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), scheduled for review in 2019-20.

It is over 15 years since the EU WFD was formally adopted. Since then, Europe has changed. New pressures are recognised, including climate change and associated flood and drought risks, invasive species and a wide-range of emerging pollutants. At the same time new perspectives on environmental management have developed, including payment for ecosystem services, nature- based solutions and circular economies. Given these changes in pressures and policy landscapes, this e-Conference aims to gather scientific opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of current WFD implementation, innovation in monitoring and management and best practice in policy implementation. These opinions will be fed into the consultation process for the review of the WFD.

The eConference had one key theme per day with four talks across morning and afternoon sessions:

  • Tuesday 19th: Monitoring & assessment systems – The good, the bad and the innovative
  • Wednesday 20th: Programmes of Measures – How do we best manage multiple stressors?
  • Thursday 21st: The Policy Mix – can we get better integration?

A number of keynote speakers involved in water resources science and river-basin management practice have addressed these themes during the meeting. The e-Conference format included live plenary presentations followed by a panel discussion and open online submission of questions to the speakers and panellists. Following this, conference attendees have been invited to complete an online questionnaire on options of improvements in WFD implementation. Questions have addressed the talk topics.

A synthesis of the e-Conference will be written up as a manuscript and as a summary policy brief.

Tweets about the event used the hashtag #WFDeconf and can be viewed on the WFDeconf Storify.

Download circular

Download circular with schedule, list of speakers and more information

Presentation videos & polls

Tuesday 19th September:

Monitoring and assessment systems – The good, the bad and the moderate

Strengths and weaknesses of current assessment systems
Poll results
Presentation by Martyn Kelly (Bowburn Consultancy,UK)

Innovation in Monitoring - Satellites, citizens and sequences
Poll results
Presentation by Laurence Carvalho (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, UK)

Q&A and panel discussion (Day One morning session)

Tracking progress in a one-out-all-out world
Poll results
Presentation by Daniel Hering (University of Duisberg-Essen, Germany)

A new biomonitoring approach to optimize mitigation and recovery
Poll results
Presentation by Annette Baattrup-Pedersen (Aarhus University, Denmark)

Q&A and panel discussion (Day One afternoon session)

Wednesday 20th September:

Programmes of Measures – How do we best manage multiple stressors?

Stressors situation in Europe
Poll results
Presentation by Lidija Globevnik (University of Ljubljiana, Slovenia)

How do we diagnose the cause of degradation under multiple stressors?
Poll results
Presentation by Christian Feld (University of Duisberg-Essen, Germany)

Q&A and panel discussion (Day Two morning session)

How are multiple stressors managed under water scarcity? The case of the Ebro River
Poll results
Presentation by Sergi Sabater (University of Girona and ICRA, Spain)

Implementation of Nature-Based Solutions to supply multiple benefits
Poll results
Presentation by Victor Beumer (Deltares, Netherlands)

Q&A and panel discussion (Day Two afternoon session)

Thursday 21st September:

The Policy Mix – How to achieve better integration?

Integrating ecosystem service concepts into River Basin Management
Poll results
Presentation by Bruna Grizzetti (European Commission Joint Research Centre)

Synergies and conflicts between policies - how do we join up?
Poll results
Presentation by Josselin Rouillard (Ecologic, Germany)

Q&A and panel discussion (Day Three morning session)

Joining up water and agricultural policy
Poll results
Presentation by Sindre Langaas (NIVA, Norway)

Legal issues for policy integration
Poll results
Presentation by Sarah Hendry (University of Dundee, UK)

Q&A and panel discussion (Day Three afternoon session)