Contents. 1. Opening Lectures. - pressures and responses - past, present and future. 3 Integrated River B~sin Management - planning for t~e future

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2 Contents 1. Opening Lectures 'Jeert Janssen, Gerda Dreise and Leonard Terwey Tte Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands _ljarrinmc Garrigle C;;. aterquality in Ireland WaterQuality - pressures and responses - past, present and future 3'"!ice D R Misstear and NickS ::eltic Groundwater: Robins CUITentPressures and Future Responses.?::ml Shand and Bjorn Fr;engstad 3aseline groundwater quality : Contrasting geochemical evolution in selected ::eltic and Viking Aquifers. 3rient Land Bertru G S ~"veil1ance et contrôle des efflorescences à cyanobactéries: seuils de vigilance et d'alerte :' our les eaux récréatives et eaux de, boisson. :; }.1artin, L Aquilina, C Gascuel - Odoux, J Molénat and L Ruiz \ a..c-iationssaisonnieres des concentrations en nitrate dans les bassins versants agricoles..,;,oesser C, Robinson Rand Soulsby C Sources ofironand Manganese in public water supplies: A case study of the ~.1egget Reservoir, Scotland. ~;aud Valerie 3uffering capacity of landscape structures inrural catchments: deflnition and assessment..".!. Ryan and J.P. 0 'Kane ~2e Blue City Project- Water quality measurement on the Lee (POSTER) Integrated River B~sin Management - planning for t~e future.'ljlthony J Tollow.-\TI Alternative Approach to the Management of Water Resources. 59 Jôanne Cullen l ne Use of End Member Mixing Analysis in Identifying the Relative. Contributions of Different Runoff Pathways. I1's Potential Value for Future Catehment Management Studies. 64 Sarah M Dunn, Mark Stalham, Neil Chambers and Bab Crabtree Spatial and temporai in the development of policies for abstraction control in Scotland. 74.=. E T Jenkin, S Janman and P Long Envrronmental impacts of past, present and future water management ::netal contaminated river catchment. within a 85 vii

3 JonesJ AA Natural soil piping, water quality and catchmentt management in the British Uplands. 98 Tony Cawley, D Mc Dermottand E Ki/cullen Predicting the hydrological impact of infill development on a karst wetland system at Oranmore, Co Galway. E. Bocher, M J Penven and K Mathieu (POSTER) Les écoulements de surface sur un versant bocager Modélisation et simulation à l'aide du SIG The Scientific support for managemep.t: Hydrological processesand models -limitations and uncertainties TomaszDysarz and Jaroslaw J Napiorkowski 123 Application of sequential optimisation for flood control- Nysa Reservoir System case study. P Hubert, I Tchiguirinskaia, H Bendjoudi, D Schertzer and SLovejoy 131 Modelisation rnultifractale des debits du Blavet a Guerledan. J Martin, L Migliori, J A Smyth and Jp O'Kane 139 Flood Alleviation Planning in a Virtual Water World- De-watering the Lower Feale Catchment A. Creating a Virtual Water World. Monomoy Goswami, Kieran M O'Connor and Asaad Y.Shamseldin 151 Rainfall-RunoffModelling oftwo Irish Catchments. (One Karstic and One Non-Karstic). Dr Rachel Helliwell and SJuggins 165 Predicting biological and chemical recovery in the Galloway region of SW Scotland. Bas Krijgsman and J P Lobo-Ferreira 176 A New Methodology for Delineating Wellhead Protection Areas. Dr P Purcell, Heather Scully and T Gleeson 188 Flow Characteristics of natural sail liners for the containment of landfillleachate and agricultural Slurries. Alaa El-Sadek, Ingeborg Joris and Jan Feyen 197 Water quality rnodelling of an agricultural field: from sail surfac,e ta groundwater. AH Hm'ia, Paul Shand and Chris Soulsby 206 Bedrock groundwater processes during streamflow generation in the riparian zone of an upland catchment in Wales, UK. A Jigorel and J P Morin 214 Evaluation des dépôts sédimentaires dans les retenues: mesures directes et indirectes dans le barrage de Keme Uhel sur le Blavet (Bretagne). G Marjolet, A Artur et M Freslon 223 Périmètres de protection des captages d'eau souterraine dans le massif armoricain. Effets sur la qualité des eaux. viii -

4 Véronique Maleval 233 Nature, origine et taut de sédimentation dans un lac oligotrophe: le lac de Saint-Paradoux, France. and rate of sedimentation in a oligotrophic lake: The lake of Saint- Pardoux, France. LaurenceA Boorman 241 Feeding the Fish - ACeltic Perspective: Changing potentials for land..:...seaexchanges of organic matter and other materials in selected Scottish Sea Lochs. J Martin, L Migliori, J A Smyth and J P O'Kane 257 Flood Alleviation Planning in a Virtual Water World- De-watering the Lower Feale Catchment. B. Planning in a Virtual Water World. Keshav P Bhattarai and Kieran MO 'Connor 269 The effect of land-use changes and arterial drainage on the runoff component of the hydrological cycle: in the Irish context (POSTER). 5 Risk assessment, perception and management: extreme rainfails, floods, droughts and climate change Pierre Javelle, Eric Sauquet and Jean-Michel Gresillon Describing actual and future flood hydrological regimes. Jerry Grant and David Wilson Communication of Flood Hazard to the Public. Salomon Seyoum Demissie and Conleth Cunnane Representation of elimate change in flood frequency estimation. Keshav P Bhattarai iill investigation of the use of partial L-moments for analysing censored flood samples. D G George, M Rouen, B O'Hea, P McGinnity and N Allott Usingautomatic water quality monitoring systems to monitor the transport of suspended sediment from an upland catchment in the west of Ireland. P Duband Crues Decembre 2000 et Janvier 2001 en Bretagne et references historiques. Keshav P.Bhattarai, Monomoy Goswami and Kieran MO 'Connor An Introduction to the Galway River Flow Forecasting System (GFFS) (poster) IX

5 THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE IN THE NETHERLANDS Geert Janssen B.Sc. Principal hydrogeologist Dept. Hydrology, FUGRO, The Netherlands Treasurer of The Netherlands Hydrological Society NHV Gerda Dreise B.Sc. Head Dept. Integrated Water management & Planning, Water Board Wilck and Wiericke, The Netherlands Leonard Terwey Civ Eng Dip Env Sr. Consulting Engineer Water & Environment, FUGRO, The Netherlands Elected Member of the General Council of the Water Board of Delfland, The Netherlands KEY WORDS European Water Framework Directive (E)WFD, The Netherlands, Water Boards, River Basin Management, Integrated Water Management, Water legislation and Regulations. SUMMARY On the 22nd December 2000 the WFD was published. Since then, the Members of the European Community are facing a deadline of 22nd December 2003, to implement the necessary legislative and administrative provisions or regulations. The purpose of the Directive is to establish a framework for the protection of inland waters, transitional water, coastal waters and groundwater. Water is no longer regarded as a product like any other, but as a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such. To prepare the Water Managers in The Netherlands for the consequences of the WFD, a Project Group Implementation of the WFD was established on the 1st of November This Project Group is a co-operation of the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, the Inter Provincial Consultative Body, the Union of Water Boards and the Consultative Body of the Dutch Municipalities. The Project Group divided their study in 9 fields of attention. Main conclusions of the Project Group (so far) are: With the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management as competent authority, relations and responsibilities between the State, Provinces, Water Boards and Municipalities, can be left unchanged; Dutch laws cover most of the WFD. What is needed is a staple through the Dutch legislation ; River Basin Management Plans can be incorporated in the 4th National Policy Document on Water Management. The revision-period of this document can be adapted to 6 years in conformity with the WFD; National emission policy fits within the WFD. A working-out of the emission-approach will be necessary. Dutch assessment-systems for the chemical condition of water generally fit in the WFD. Regarding the ecological status, a new assessment-system will be developed; Currently displayed Monitoring efforts meet the requirements of the WFD, except for monitoring in protected areas. This, the groundwater issue and the reporting obligations will be dealt with in Phase 3; Water Management costs in The Netherlands are (except from abstractions from surface water) already financed by direct or indirect taxes or prices. The economic evaluation in conformity with the WFD is new for The Netherlands but seems feasible. The Project Group will compile a manual with the contributions of the various Working Groups that will be released in the end of 2002, to promote the implementation of the WFD. The WFD is (for The Netherlands) considered to be a good supplement to the existing international treaties. The WFD enhances the international co-operation within river basins to tackle important issues in water management. The WFD integrates earlier enacted Directives and might even set an example for more integration of national laws. Being the sink of a large part of Europe, The Netherlands thus benefits from the WFD. But still, water management is not a separate aim of the European Union but embedded in European Environmental Law. The WFD is clear in its strategies in fighting, preventing and controlling water~ and groundwater-pollution, but there are no such strategies for fighting floods and droughts, which are only mentioned briefly. In The Netherlands, the WFD will be linked with the newly adopted strategy Water Management Policy in the 21st Century (WB21) [11] to clear this omission. WB21 proposes a different approach of water management in The Netherlands: a water-driven, area-specific strategy and integrated, sustainable water management approach and priority to water management in area planning. A strategy in which water is regarded not as enemy, but as ally, with room to move. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 1 of 14

6 SOMMAIRE Le 22 décembre 2000 la WFD a été publiée. Depuis, les membres de la Communauté Européenne doivent respecter la date limite du 22 décembre 2003 pour mettre en application «les dispositions ou les régulations législatives et administratives nécessaires». Le but de la directive est l'établissement d un cadre pour la protection des eaux intérieures, de l'eau transitoire, des eaux côtières et des eaux souterraines. L'eau n'est plus considérée comme un produit comme un autre mais comme un héritage qui doit être protégé, défendu et traité en tant que tel. Pour préparer les Managers de la gestion de l'eau aux Pays-Bas aux conséquences du WFD, un Groupe de Projet «Application de la WFD» a été créé le 1er novembre Ce groupe de projet est une coopération du ministère du transport des travaux publics et de la gestion de l'eau ; du ministère du logement, de l aménagement du territoire et de l'environnement ; du ministère d'agriculture, de la gestion et de la pêche de nature ; de l'organe consultatif interprovincial; de l'union des agences de l'eau et de l'organe consultatif des municipalités néerlandaises. Le groupe de projet a divisé leur étude en 9 domaines spécifiques. Les conclusions principales du Groupe de Projet (jusqu'à ce jour) sont: Avec le ministre du transport des travaux publics et de la gestion de l'eau en tant qu autorité compétente, les relations et responsabilités entre l'état, les provinces, les agences de l'eau et les municipalités restent inchangées; Les lois néerlandaises couvrent la majeure partie de la WFD. Il est nécessaire «d assembler la législation néerlandaise» ; Des plans de gestion de bassin de fleuve peuvent être incorporés dans le 4ème document national de politique sur la gestion de l'eau. Le temps de révision de ce document est de 6 ans conformément à la WFD; La politique Nationale d'émission couvre la WFD. L approche de l émission doit être élaborée; Les systèmes d évaluation néerlandais sur l'état chimique de l'eau sont généralement adaptés à la WFD. Concernant le statut écologique, un nouveau système d évaluation sera développé ; Les efforts actuels de surveillance répondent aux exigences de la WFD, excepté la surveillance dans des secteurs protégés. L'issue des eaux souterraines et les engagements de rapportage seront traités dans la phase 3 ; Les coûts de la gestion de l'eau aux Pays-Bas (excepté les extractions de l'eau de surface) sont déjà financés par les impôts ou les prix indirects ou directs. L'évaluation économique, conformément à la WFD, est nouvelle pour les Néerlandais mais semble faisable. Le Groupe de Projet compilera un manuel avec la contribution des différents groupes de travail qui sera présenté à la fin de 2002 pour favoriser l'exécution de la WFD. La WFD est considérée (par les Néerlandais) comme un plus aux traités internationaux existants. La WFD intensifie la coopération internationale sur les bassins des fleuves pour aborder les questions importantes dans la gestion de l'eau. La WFD regroupe les directives décrétées antérieurement et pourrait même être un exemple pour plus d'intégration des lois nationales. Étant l'évier d'une grande partie de l'europe, les Néerlandais bénéficient ainsi de la WFD. Notamment, la gestion de l'eau n'est pas un but isolé de l'union Européenne mais elle est incluse dans la loi environnementale européenne. Le combat de la WFD est clair : la prévention et le contrôle de la pollution de l'eau de surface et de l eau souterraine, il n'y a pas de stratégie comparable concernant la lutte contre les inondations et la sécheresse, seulement mentionné brièvement. Aux Pays-Bas, la WFD sera liée à la stratégie adoptée récemment dans «la politique de gestion de l eau dans le 21 ème siècle (WB21) pour corriger cette omission. WB21 propose une approche différente de la gestion de l'eau aux Pays-Bas : une stratégie dominée par l eau et spécifique pour les différents secteurs, une approche de la gestion durable de l'eau et une priorité de la gestion de l eau dans l aménagement du territoire. Il s agit d une stratégie dans laquelle l'eau est considérée non comme un ennemi mais comme un allié, avec un espace pour se déplacer librement. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 2 of 14

7 INTRODUCTION The (European) Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a document that affects all countries in Europe that are united in the European Community. This paper illustrates the way The Netherlands is dealing with the implementation of the WFD. First, the contents and the Aims and Objectives of the WFD will be outlined, as well as the chosen River Basin approach that is used in the WFD and the time-schedules and deadlines that are set. For a better understanding of the implementation of the WFD in The Netherlands the geography and geology of The Netherlands, the climate and hydrology and the man made environment for which the Dutch are famous of are highlighted. Interesting is how dealing with water is institutionalised in The Netherlands. Next will be the implementation of the WFD in The Netherlands. How are the Dutch organised, who is involved in the implementation process, what is their strategy, how are the proceedings of the implementation process, do the Dutch think that they can meet the required time schedule and, last but not least, how do the Dutch inform the public. Purpose Water is not regarded as a product like any other, but as a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such. The purpose of the Directive is to establish a framework for the protection of inland waters, transitional water, coastal waters and groundwater which: a) Prevents further deterioration and protects and enhances the status of aquatic ecosystems and other related ecosystems; b) Promotes sustainable water use based on a long term protection of available water resources; c) Enhances protection and improvement of the aquatic environment through the progressive reduction of discharges, emissions and losses of priority substances; d) Ensures the progressive reduction of pollution of groundwater; e) Contributes to mitigating the effects of floods and droughts. Finally the impact of the WFD on the situation in The Netherlands is described. Does the WFD interfere with the Dutch situation or can the Dutch benefit from the WFD. THE WFD: A RESUME OF THE DOCUMENT By the mid 1990s a need to pull together the range of existing European legislation on water in a coordinated manner was identified. The end result of this process is the Water Framework Directive - widely recognised as one of the most ambitious and comprehensive pieces of European environmental legislation to date. The Directive is supposed to be a comprehensive and co-ordinated package to ensure that all European waters are protected according to a common standard. On the 22nd December 2000 the WFD was published. According to the articles 24 and 25 this means that the WFD is in operation since that day. From that day, the Members of the European Community are facing a deadline of 22nd December 2003, to implement the necessary legislative and administrative provisions or regulations. By the end of 2003, the necessary adaptations of the National laws must have passed by national parliament as well. River Basin Approach The Directive has two key components: A system of management of the natural water environment based around natural river basin districts; and Co-ordinated "programmes of measures" to achieve at least a good status for most of the rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and underground waters. Within each river basin district the ecological condition of rivers and lakes will have to be assessed. For groundwater the key factors are chemical contamination and quantity. Objectives will then be set for each water body and measures to achieve the objectives put in place. Many of these measures are set out in the Directive. They include controls on water pollution, on abstraction and impoundment of water and on other impacts such as engineering works in and around water. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 3 of 14

8 The condition of the water body will then be reassessed to determine whether the specified objective has been met. This process will be repeated on a continuing basis. Time schedules The first stage is transposing the Directive's provisions into the National Laws. Given the scope and fundamental nature of the Directive this should be done by primary national legislation. As with all legislative commitments this will be subject to finding space in the legislative programme. Important deadlines that are set, are: Directive's provisions must be transposed into National Law Publish River Basin Management Plans & establish programmes of measures Programmes of measures fully operational Environmental objectives to be met inhabitants. It would probably be more factual to suggest that the Dutch and their ancestors have, for thousands of years, adapted their way of life to suit their environment. In the beginning by taking advantage and relief of the land as they found it. Later by changing the natural landscape, deliberately or not. Geography and Geology The size of the land area of Netherlands is approx km 2. The total territory, including inland lakes, estuaries and territorial sea, measures km 2. The Netherlands comprises the deltas of the rivers Rhine (Rijn), Meuse (Maas), Scheldt (Schelde) and Eems (Figure 1). In general The Netherlands slope from south-east to north west. Figure 2 INTRODUCTION TO DUTCH SITUATION The Netherlands is a flat Delta covered with alluvial deposits and, due to its unusual location, with a fascinating geological history. At and below the surface there is an enormous variety of sediments. Some of the sediments are useful while others present a challenge to anyone wanting to build and live on the land or use it in other ways. The deposits that make up The Netherlands, were formed by rivers, the sea, wind, ice-sheets, meltwater, and volcanoes. It is said that The Netherlands is made by its The highest point in the south-east is 322 above m.s.l., not one third of the height of the Irish Carrauntoohill. Barring the dunes, the western and northern parts of the country have elevations varying from slightly above mean sea level, to 6,7 m below sea level at the lowest point near Rotterdam. In the absence of dunes and dikes more than 65% of the country would be flooded at high sea and/or high river levels as illustrated in Figure 2. Figure 1 Tertiary and Mesozoic deposits are situated at great depths and outcrops only occur in the south-east and eastern areas. Marine Tertiary clays form the base of the groundwater aquifer system, and are covered by Pleistocene and Holocene deposits as illustrated in Figure 3. Loamy and clayey material of marine and fluviatile origin, together with local peat soils and fine sands, dominate at the surface in The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 4 of 14

9 Figure 3 the south-west, west, north and central river districts. Draw-down of the groundwater table causes shrinkage and oxidation of clayey and peat soils. In the east and south parts of the country loamy cover-sand, medium and coarse sand and gravel are found. Climate and hydrology Due to strong maritime influences the climate of The Netherlands is milder than expected at 52 0 N latitude. The annual average temperature of 9 to 10 0 C is far beyond the 4 0 C that is normal on this latitude. We call the climate of The Netherlands a coastal climate. The average annual rainfall in The Netherlands is 750 mm. Nowhere in the country do values deviate from this by more than 10 to 15%. While the aerial variation in precipitation is small, the seasonal variation is more pronounced. Early spring is driest and summer and late autumn are wettest. The heaviest showers occur inland during summer. Interannual variability in precipitation can be quite large with lowest amounts as low as 400 mm and highest nearly 1200 mm. Mean wind-direction is south-southwest (70% off the time). The mean annual evapotranspiration of The Netherlands varies from 600 mm in coastal areas to 500 mm inland. The seasonal variation of evaporation is very large, due to its dependence on solar radiation and temperature. Evaporation in summer is 9 times higher than in winter, resulting in a water surplus in winter (300 mm from October to March) and a deficit in summer (150 mm from April to September). Surface water covers one fifth of the area of The Netherlands. Almost everywhere in the low polder areas water levels are artificially controlled by a forced discharge, but on higher grounds the drainage of water is mostly by gravity. Smaller ditches in sandy areas might fall dry whereas most ditches in polder areas remain filled all year around. The largest terms in the water balance of the whole of The Netherlands by far are the in- and outflow of the river Rhine (63% of m 3 /year). In 1993 and 1995, the river Meuse inundated large areas and Rhine water reached dangerous levels, causing considerable economic damage. The groundwater hydrology is controlled by the sediments, deposited in a subsiding basin that dips to the north-west (see Figure 4). The Quarternary deposits often have high permeability. Public drinking water is mostly abstracted from these deposits. Upper Tertiary layers are not exploited due to low permeability and often the presence of brackish to saline groundwater as is shown on the hydrogeological cross-section of Figure 3. The groundwater recharge in The Netherlands vary much depends on the local topographical situation. Infiltration of rainfall is the predominant form of recharge in the sandy areas. In those regions The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 5 of 14

10 Figure 4 drainage problem. Dikes were built to protect the land against the sea-water. To avoid high water levels in the embanked areas, excess water was released through outlets at low tide. Local embankments were connected by dams closing tidal creeks. Names of Dutch cities e.g. Amsterdam and Rotterdam, remind of these events. Behind the dikes and closure dams the embankment of small areas, polders, was started. The stepwise drainage system, as shown in Figure 5, is very typical in The Netherlands. At first the artificial drainage tools were man- and horse-powered, followed by windmills which made it possible, in various stages, not only to drain polders, but also to reclaim land from shallow and deeper lakes. The waterwheels of the windmills were replaced by Archimedian Screws in the 17th century. Eventually wind-power was replaced by successively steam-, diesel- and electrically driven pumping stations. covered with clay or peat layers practically the full excess precipitation is discharged by surface flow to nearby open water courses. The groundwater level varies with the surface level, and will be lowest near Rotterdam at approx. 7 m below mean sea level. The history of The Netherlands is particularly characterised by floods, reparative work and reclamation. The continuing subsidence of the surface in the polders and the rising of the sea level have resulted in a land with 25% of its area lying below mean sea level and 65% below high sea and river level. Figure 5 The man made environment Water management greatly influences the face of The Netherlands. Thousand years ago large parts of The Netherlands flooded regularly. Due to cultivation, the soil sank, and large area subsided to such a degree that the tide could stream in. Through the centuries, large lakes formed as peat was dug up to serve as fuel. By using embankments and windmills, lakes could be drained and the land reclaimed. However, the permanent need to lower the groundwater table for agricultural production, provoked an irreversible subsidence process. Besides this man-made process, the rising of the sea level also affects the The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 6 of 14

11 Organisation of Water management in The Netherlands In the democracy in The Netherlands, the people choose their representatives in three governing bodies. The Central Government, Provincial Government and Regional Authorities, including the Municipalities and Water Boards. The Central Government formulates the main features for the strategic policy with respect to water issues at a national level and is responsible for the operational management of the state managed waters and major flood protection works. The Provincial Government defines the strategic policy for non-state managed waters and for the regional flood protection works, and controls for groundwater extraction and waterways serving navigation. Municipalities are responsible for operational (water)management (sewerage system, drainage in urban areas), and the implementation of (other) policy issues. Water Boards play a most important role in Dutch water management. The Boards are responsible for flood protection, drainage and rural areas, water quantity and quality water management and waste water treatment. area, defined by the boundary of a water-system, and not by historical borders. The administration of a Water Board consists of: General Council, chosen by tax payers every four years; Executive Board, chosen by the General Council; Chairman (Dyke Reeve), appointed by the Crown for a six year period. All taxpayers (following the principle of interestpayment-say/participatory control ) may choose a representative in the administration of the Water Board. In the middle-ages the first Water Boards appeared in The Netherlands. The communities at that time, known as Boroughs, selected Governors to promote the interest of the local population. Water management also fell under their jurisdiction. The very first water management workers were farmers and landowners, who were responsible for local water management, engineering works, such as the dikes, canals, watercourses and roads. There was a continuous need for the building and rebuilding of dikes, dams and river estuaries, drainage locks and canals. A gigantic undertaking in a time when everything had to be done with manor horsepower. Dike building and waterdrainage often needed to be done over the borders of one Borough. Regional co-operation between the Boroughs was the next step. And so the first district Water Boards were formed. The district Water Boards worked in a democratic fashion, involving the local communities not only in the maintenance of public works, but also through participation in the governing body. In 1850 there were 3500 Water Boards. Mergers reduced the number of Water Boards. Following the flood disaster of 1953, the process of centralisation took on a new urgency. By January 2000 there were 57 Water Boards left. It is expected that by 2003, The Netherlands have about 48 Water Boards. Figure 6 In Figure 6 the institutional structure regarding water issues in The Netherlands is illustrated. The Water board A Water Board is an independent lower tier of the government, overseen by the Provincial Authorities. Each Water Board is responsible of the essential aspects of water management in a given Water management in The Netherlands costs 2,8 b per year ( 175/capita) at the end of the 20th century. The greater part of this budget is spent on operating costs. The rest is used for investments, such as sewage treatment plants, pumping stations, and dike strengthening. The Water Boards finance their work entirely from taxes. There are 5 categories of tax payers: owners of real estate, owners of land, industries, leaseholders, and residents. A tax payer may belong to several categories. The Water Board charges for owners of real estate, a sum depending on the value of the property, the owners of land a fixed sum per hectare, and for residents a fixed sum determined by each Water Board and the pollution levy. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 7 of 14

12 IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WFD IN THE NETHERLANDS The Water Management Act (1989) formulates a framework that harmonises the objectives and contents of the water management plans and the coordination of the planning of the participating authorities in water management. By law, the plans are updated every 4 years. Figure 7 Figure 7 shows the relationship of water resource planning with area and environmental policy planning. The system works both top-down and bottom-up. The last few years, quite a lot of new plans were released in The Netherlands e.g. 4th National Policy Document on Water Management, Room for Rivers, A Different Approach to Water, Water Management Policy in the 21st Century, the 5th Memorandum Spatial Planning, Nature for People, People for Nature etc. The mutual attuning of these plans therefore becomes an increasing challenge. General introduction, participants and time- schedule To prepare the water-managers in The Netherlands for the consequences of the implementation of the WFD, a Project Group called Implementation of the WFD was established on the 1st of November The P roject Group is a co-operation of the Ministries of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (V&W), Housing & Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM), Agriculture, Nature Management & Fisheries (LNV), Inter Provincial Consultative Body (IPO), Union of Water Boards (UVW) and the Consultative Body of Dutch Municipalities (VNG). Important questions (among others) to be answered by the Project Group were: What are the consequences of the WFD for a Delta like The Netherlands? How does the WFD interfere with the 4th Bill Water management (later followed by Water management 21st Century)? Can the unique system of Water Boards be preserved within the WFD? What are the consequences of the proposed partition in 4 River Basins? Can we meet the WFD requirements regarding water quality? Is there anything mentioned in the WFD concerning flood defence? Does our financial system fit in the system of levies and taxes as described in the WFD? Phase 1 started in November 1998 with a reconnaissance of the possible consequences of the implementation of the WFD was carried out. Phase 1 was concluded with 2 reports with overviews of legislative, administrative, political and technical implications and an overview of various issues that have to be dealt with in near future. Phase 2 started off with a workshop in October Aim was to deal with the various issues as mentioned above. In the beginning of 2001 this Phase was concluded with a report of the intermediate results of the various Working Groups. Phase 3 started in January 2001 to continue where Phase 2 ended. Under the responsibility of the Project Group a manual will be released at the end of 2002, to promote the implementation of the WFD. This document will disclose the information necessary to meet the requirements of the WFD. Preparing the implementation of the WFD The assignment of the Project Group that started off in 1998, was to present a document that describes the preparation for the implementation of the WFD. Target date for this document was the date of the actual Directive itself, expected by the end of The Project Group divided their tasks in 9 fields of attention, each dealt with a separate Working Group: Legislation Geographical Division Co-ordination International Implementation Integrating the WFD in existing Dutch Planning-system Emission and Human Influences Aims and Objectives and Monitoring Finances and Economical Analysis National Administrative Organisation Communication These fields are highlighted hereafter regarding the three earlier mentioned Phases up to the end of this year The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 8 of 14

13 Working Group Legislation Article 24 describes that the Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive at the latest three years after the date of entry into force of the Directive (22nd December 2003). By this time these Laws must have been passed by national Parliament and published in the Dutch Gazette. In The Netherlands the WFD affects at least 10 different Acts, varying from the Water Management Act (1989) to the Environmental Protection Act (1993). These Acts fall under three Ministries (LNV, V&W and VROM). As described in the WFD the Member States shall identify the Competent Authority that will be charged with the supervision over the implementation and the observance of the WFD. These and other issues will be implied in an Introduction Act that describes the amendments necessary. Apart from this Introduction Act a few regulations and by-laws will be introduced. The preparation for this Act, the regulations and the bylaws was finished in the third quarter of Hereafter, legislation procedures take up to 6 months before introduction of the Bill to the Second (Lower) Chamber. Preferably the text of the Bill has to be ready in the first quarter of 2002, because Parliamentary Discussions in the Second Chamber might take up to a year. Netherlands the River Basins coincide with the River Basin Districts). In The Netherlands four River Basins and can be distinguished: the Rhine, the Meuse, the Scheldt and the Eems. The four River Basins are indicated on Figure 1. The delimitation of the Scheldt seems to be quite obvious where the delimitation of the Eems is more complicated. Deliberation with the German authorities in Phase 3 will be necessary to discuss the transition between transitional water and coastal water, the assignment of coastal water to the River Basin District of the Eems and the border between the districts of the Rhine and the Eems. The border between the Meuse and the Rhine is even more complicated. Both rivers flow into the same estuary where the water mingles. There is no clear hydrological border. For both rivers (and for the Scheldt) international treaties and river committees exist, but those treaties cover only the rivers themselves and not the whole of the river basin and catchment area. The assignment of coastal water to the Meuse or the Rhine is therefore arbitrary. The four River Basin Districts are divided in 17 Figure 8 The intention is that the final text of the Act is passed by the Second and First (Upper) Chamber of the Dutch Parliament in the first quarter of Then there will be ¾ of a year left to prepare the necessary implementation-measures and regulations before the end of the deadline on 22nd December To be less dependent of the proceedings in the Second and First Chamber, the Project Group will outline the necessary legal measures to be taken by National, Regional and Local authorities beforehand. Regarding legislative complications of the WFD, the conclusion is that most of the WFD is covered by the Dutch Laws. In one of the documents the Project Group speaks of a staple through the Dutch legislation, meaning an mutual attenuation of the laws. Working Group Geographical Division This Working Group indicates the borders of the sub-basins in The Netherlands and the assignment of these sub-basins to the International River Basin Districts. In Phase 1 it was (not surprisingly) concluded that, being a delta, the whole of The Netherlands would be assigned to a River Basin (or ~District: in The sub-basins as indicated on Figure 8. This subdivision is based on earlier studies. Shallow groundwater that is strongly influenced by open water, can easily be assigned to a certain sub- between basin or basin. Deeper groundwater can cross borders sub-basins, basins and even frontiers which makes assignment to basin (-districts) difficult. Not only technically, but also administrative. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 9 of 14

14 If the subdivision would be made from a groundwater point of view, there would be 15 sub-basins (according to the Netherlands Technical Committee for Soil Protection) but for the WFD the division in 17 parts will be used. Currently the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management is revising the National Watercourse Maps, taking into consideration the division in river basins and sub-basins. This Working Group almost finished completely their work in Phase 2, apart from the discussions with the Germans and some detailed descriptions of the borders of the sub-basins; those are left for Phase 3. Working Group Co-ordination International Implementation The aims for this Working Group were to coordinate the making of one River Basin Management Plan per international river basin, to assess the position of the international river committees and the discrepancies between the WFD and international water treaties. The international river committees are intergovernmental : all decisions are made by consensus. All rivers, except the Eems, are covered and there are committees for coastal issues as well. The contribution of these committees, the conveyance of responsibilities and the process of decision-making is momentarily subject to discussions. The basin of the River Rhine covers most of The Netherlands. An adequate co-ordination of an international River Basin Management Plan for the Rhine, is therefor of great importance for The Netherlands. During Phase 2 at a conference of the Rhine Ministers in Strasbourg, it was agreed that the Rhine Water Directors of the Rhine Bank Countries will take the lead for drafting the international River Basin Management Plan for the Rhine. These agreements are supported by a strategic document (EU-Water Directors) and an Implementation Working Plan (Rhine Water Directors). During Phase 3 the Working Group will draw up a framework instruction to assure a consistent Dutch contribution during the process of designing the River Basin Management Plan by the international committees. A significant role for the international river committees seems ahead for the rivers Meuse, Scheldt and Eems (not established yet) to come to one international river basis management plan per river as drafted for the river Rhine. Working Group Integrating the WFD in existing Dutch Planning-system This Working Group finished their work in Phase 2 and is dissolved. In Phase 3 two pilots are carried out to test the ideas of this Working Group for workability in every days practice. In their report in Phase 2 the Working Group concluded the following. Generally, with the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management as competent authority, the existing relations and responsibilities between the State, the Provinces, the Water Boards and the Municipalities, can be left unchanged. The ambition is to realise a collective, international River Basin Management Plan. If this fails, for whatever reason, at least plans for the national parts of the river basin districts have to be drawn, four in the case of The Netherlands. Therefore the Working Group chose to incorporate the plans (recognisable) in the National Strategic Water Bill (4th National Policy Document on Water Management) and to change the Water management Act via amendments as described earlier. The Dutch Environmental and Water management Plans have a revision-period of four years. The WFD uses a revision-period of 6 years. Adaptation of the revision-period in conformity with the WFD has consequences for the fashion of data-collection and reporting of progresses. The Dutch Provinces make Provincial Environmental Plans for their Provinces, concerning water management, environmental policy and area planning. The same applies for the Water Boards. In most cases the borders of the (sub-)basins do not correspond with the Provincial or Water Board borders. With the help of checklists, it will be possible to make sure the various plans contain all the necessary items as described in the WFD, which solves this administrative matter in general. The minimum contents of a River Basin Management Plan are described in appendix VII of the WFD. For each of the eleven requirements, the Working Group investigated if the necessary information is already acquired and registered somewhere, or, if not, what actions need to be taken. Currently all the Provinces, in co-operation The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 10 of 14

15 with Water Boards, with the help of Consultants, and supported by the Project Group, are drafting the river (sub-)basin management plans. A first draft, containing the next four issues, will be submitted to the EU in 2004: a) Description of river basin(s) on a national level. The discrimination in the four categories (coastal water, transitional water, rivers, lakes) and three types (natural, artificial, heavily modified), and the definition of the reference- circumstances are currently under study. b) Provide insight in the human influences on surface water and groundwater. Groundwater registers exist in the Provincial Environmental Plan, the Groundwater-register and annual reports of Drinking Water Companies. Surface water registers do not exist and have to be made. c) An economical analyses of river basin(s). This analysis is new for The Netherlands. The information required is available and, as described earlier, The Netherlands already have a system in which provision is made for the payment for water services. d) A register of the Protected Areas within the river basin(s). For Drinking Water Area Protection maps do exist. For other areas (Bird and Habitat-areas, shell-fish waters, swimming international waters etc.) national or previous Directives exist. Working Group Emissions and Human Influences In Phase 1 this Working Group concluded that the national emission policy, containing precautionprinciples, a concatenation-approacpriority assessment based on risk-analysis, fits (chain~) and a within the WFD. It was also concluded that a further elaboration of the emission-approach would be necessary. In article 10 of the WFD, a combined approach for point source discharges (like industrial and sewage water treatment plants) and diffuse sources (like agriculture, recreation, transport) is indicated. For point sources the Best Available Technique (BAT) is prescribed, for diffuse sources the Best Ecological Practice (BEP). If these measures do not result in the required water quality as indicated via an imission-test, supplementary measures have to be taken. This immision-test is a test that takes the cumulative effect of emissions into account. In Phase 2, the Netherlands Commission on Integrated Water Management (CIW) presented a report that deals with the priorities of sources that are liable to pollute inland waters, as well as an assessment of point source discharges. The report describes a phased action plan for these sources that will be integrated in the manual for the water managers. The report does not cover emissions in estuaries and incidental emissions. That will be dealt with in Phase 3. The termination of the emission of priority substances is already subject to Dutch Law as in the Pollution of Surface Waters Act (1970), the Environmental Protection Act (1993), the Pesticides Act (1962), and the agreements of the North-Sea Ministers Conference in Esbjerg (1995). However, the practical approach of the Pollution of Surface Waters Act does not quite match with the WFD. Apart from this it seems that the Dutch standards for emission-control are more stringent than those described in the WFD, due to Dutch weather circumstances and special condition of water bottoms. In Phase 3 this Working Group will investigate other significant human influences like the abstraction of groundwater, water level control, morphology transformations and land-use, and activities in coastal waters. Further the Working Group will implement the outcome of the project analysis of pressures and impacts and prepare a new chapter Hazardous Substances and Products for the Environmental Protection Act. Working Group Aims and Objectives and Monitoring All types of water, groundwater, inland water, transitional water and coastal water, have their own quality-references or criteria and assessmentsystems. The Dutch assessment-systems generally fit in the WFD. The standard for artificial water bodies or heavily modified water bodies, as most of all Dutch waters are classified, is a good ecological potential instead of a good ecological status. Following general economical principles it is also allowed to restrict oneself to a good ecological potential if the costs to gain a good ecological status are disproportional. On a national level The Netherlands know the Maximum Admissible Risk (MAR, target for 2006), and Negligible Risk (NR, target for 2010), as aim for the chemical condition of water. Both are comparable with good. Regarding the ecological status, the possibilities to develop a new assessment-system to distinguish very good, good, moderate, insufficient and bad, have been studied in Phase 2. The development of a new system will take years and requires a broad support from the Dutch water managers. In Phase 3 the Working Group will continue their study with e.g. the standards for drinking water, the need of additional quality demands regarding the oxygen percentage of surface water in relation to the suitability for fishes like salmon, a reference for The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 11 of 14

16 the quality (chemically and ecologically) of groundwater and subsequently groundwater quality monitoring. Three types of monitoring (surveillance ~, operational ~ and investigative ~) are distinguished in the WFD. Good monitoring measures require adequate frames of references and good communication between neighbours. The elaboration of the monitoring obligations of the WFD was almost finished at the end of Phase 2. Generally the conclusion is that the currently displayed monitoring efforts meet the requirements as stated in the WFD, except for monitoring in protected areas. Further, Phase 3 will concentrate on the groundwater issue and the reporting obligations. For this last issue the Working Group will contact the international EU-monitoring Working Group. Working Group Finances and Economical Analysis The costs of water management in The Netherlands are for the greater part already financed by direct or indirect taxes or prices for water consumption. The water quality management knows a pollution levy for the dumping of effluent in sewerage of rivers. The State and Water Boards levy various taxes to an annual amount of approx. b 1,1 based on the amount of pollution, in conformity with the polluter pays principle as stated in the WFD. Households, industries and farms are charged with a head tax by the Water Boards to finance water quantity management (approx. m 370 annually). The maintenance and management of the Municipal Sewerage is financed via levies paid by households and industry for an annual amount of b 0,64. The Provinces levy m 15 annually for groundwater discharges and adhere to the policy that good quality groundwater has to be artificially recharged to prevent the loss of groundwater to less eminent purposes than e.g. drinking water. Drinking water is not free in The Netherlands. The drinking water companies charge the users of the water per cubic meter (approx. 1,- to 1,5) resulting in an annual amount of b 1,6. Approx. 70% of the drinking water in The Netherlands originates from groundwater. Furthermore there is an Environmental Tax (approx. m 165 annually) on groundwater extractions per cubic meter. This tax is not (yet) used for water management purposes but is used for general purposes (public treasury). The total recovery of the costs of water services in The Netherlands, although collected decentralised through levies and prices, is calculated at b 3,9. In contrast with groundwater discharges, abstractions from surface waters are in most cases free of charges. These surface water abstractions do require at the same time a permission, so it can not be too difficult to introduce a levy per cubic meter discharged water. Apart from this issue there is a question of fairness regarding the contribution that is expected from households, industries and farmers, for water services. In Phase 3 the economic implications of the WFD will be further investigated. National Administrative Organisation This Working Group was established in Phase 3 to integrate WB21. Task of this Working Group is to elaborate an implementation model for the period after Phase 3 and to co-ordinate the junction of the 4 separate national river basin district management plans, if possible merged with the existing and new to erect consultative bodies emanating from the WB21. Further the Working Group will make a register of Protected Areas or Reserves and define the responsibilities for protective measures. Finally this group will provide insight in the costs that are involved with the implementation of the obligations of the WFD and suggest ways to gain the necessary funds. Working Group Communication and/or Manual WFD Because of the comprehensive and sometimes indefinite wording in the articles and appendixes of the WFD, it can not be excluded (or must be expected) that various interpretations will evolve regarding the possible consequences of the WFD for the (inter)national policies for water, environment, nature and spatial planning. Lucid exposition and univocal communication is therefore necessary. For example: it has to be clear that the WFD does not result in changes of the administrative system. The communication also must lead to awareness of the future tasks for the water managers so that they can take into account the necessary budgets and personnel. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 12 of 14

17 The Working Group distinguishes 3 levels of communication: At international level the activities are connected with the Working Group Co-ordination International Implementation. At national level the idea is to organise workshops for national organisations or platforms of Water Managers and ~Boards (UVW), Provinces (IPO) and Municipalities (VNG) but also for the inland navigation, (fishery-) industry, the recreational sector, agricultural organisations, drinking water companies, the mineral resources sector and preservation- and environmental organisations. The approach for the regional communication will very much be the same on but on a regional level. The Working Group will compile a manual that will be released in the end of 2002, to promote the implementation of the WFD. This document will disclose the consequences of the WFD (part I) and the information necessary to meet the requirements of the WFD, and what will be expected from the persons and organisations concerned (part II). The manual will be put together with the contributions of the various Working Groups and contains all relevant information that is compiled during the 3 phases. The manual will not be a static document but will be more dynamic (frequently updated) and made available via the Internet. With regard to water there is quite a lot of information available on the Internet on the webte that holds numerous sites si (both commercial and not commercial). Since September 2000 the Project Group releases bulletins with the title the State of Affairs. The bulletins are very accessible and quite understandable for the public. THE WFD: OPINIONS The next few opinions are a mixture of the authors and others, who s names will be mentioned in between brackets [..]. The opinion that water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such, is fully supported by the authors of this paper. This message in the WFD casts up a dam against the excessive commercial attitude that we made ourselves familiar with [Havekes, 5]. At the same time it is worthwhile to recognise of the considerations with which the WFD-document begins, rather than the actual text of the Directive only. Water management is not a separate aim of the European Union but embedded in European Environmental Law. However, water management appears to be broader than that, and it can be expected that in the near future, water quantity management will claim a more eminent role. Water management deserves to be an aim by itself within the European Union-treaty. Some do even plead for a special European Commissioner for Water. For now it must be concluded that the WFD is clear in its strategies in fighting, preventing and controlling water~ and groundwater-pollution (articles 16 and 17), but that there are no such strategies for fighting floods and droughts, which are only mentioned briefly in Article 1.e and 11.3.e. Saager [5] stated that the WFD, as a document that is focussed on water quality only, is a set back for The Netherlands with over 10 years of experience in Integral Water management, neither does it add something to the Treaty of Helsinki (1992). The reason for this partiality is both simple and disappointing. For water quantity unanimity of votes is required in compliance with the Treaty of Maastricht, and that was considered unfeasible by the European Council in an attempt to reach an ambitious and broadly founded Directive within a reasonable period of time. In The Netherlands, the WFD will be linked with WB21 to clear this omission. The WFD integrates earlier enacted Directives (as stated in Article 22). Havekes [5], mentioning the WFD as an example, pleads for a Dutch Integrated Water Act to do the same on a national level, to obtain a transparent, effective and coherent legislative framework. As mentioned earlier in this paper, the WFD affects at least 10 different laws in The Netherlands and three Ministries are involved. We could have saved ourselves the staple through the Dutch legislation if we have had one Integrated Water Act. Being the sink of a large part of Europe, The Netherlands benefits from the WFD. It is plausible that the International Committee for the Protection of the Rhine, with its successful Rhine Action Programme (RAP, in the beginning focussing of water quality, later extended with high water, ecological restoration and groundwater), has been a source of inspiration for the realisation of the WFD. The WFD is (for The Netherlands) The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 13 of 14

18 considered to be a good supplement to the existing Sciences (IAHS); international treaties. 3. Unie van Waterschappen (2000) CD-Rom of Dutch Water Boards The WFD advances the international co-operation within river basins to tackle important issues in 4. Gans, de. W. (2000 NITG TNO) The Geology of The Netherlands water management. Not as usual by rigid and juridical coercive regulations by a non-co-operative EU Commission, which apparently does not work very well, but by breaking with traditions and encouraging a process of international co-operation. In the next few years during the implementation of 5. Havekes H., Spier J., Saager P., Sprundel van L., Latour P., and Velde van de O. (July 001) Europese Kaderrichtlijn Water : A syllabus of articles concerning the WFD as printed in magazine Het Waterschap ( the Water Board ) the WFD it will become clear if this is really working. [5] 6. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water management (2000) The WFD: an intermediate report WB21 proposes a different approach to water 7. Project Group Implementation of the WFD management in The Netherlands to deal efficiently (1st March 2001); Implementation of the with climate-change, sea-level-rising and WFD: Phase 2 continuing soil-subsidence and not only with safety, in-conveniences, material and immaterial damage 8. Project Group Implementation of the WFD (5th March 2001); Implementation of the and cost. What is required is a water-driven strategy WFD: SOW Phase 3 and priority to water management in area planning. 9. Project Group Implementation of the WFD (September 2000, June 2001, December A strategy in which water is regarded not as enemy, but as ally, with room to move. 2001, March 2002); WFD: The State of Affairs 1 to Tielrooij F. et al. (31st August 2000) Water management in the 21st Century REFERENCES 11. Ministry of Transport, Public Works and 1. European Parliament / European Council Water management (December 2000); A (23rd October 2000) Directive of the Different Approach to Water, Water European Parliament and of the Council Management Policy in the 21st 2000/60/EC Establishing a Framework for Century (WB21) Community Action in the field of Water Policy 12. Christa Jesse; artist Illustrations/cartoons 2. Huisman P., Cramer W., Ee van G., Hooghart J.C., Salz H. and Zuidema F.C. (from 10) (1998) Water in The Netherlands, Figures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 from [2] Netherlands Hydrological Society (NHV) and Figures 1 and 8 from [10] The Netherlands National Committee of the International Association of Hydrological Retain. Storage. Discharge. The implementation of the Water Framework Directive in The Netherlands. Page 14 of 14

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20 Celtic Water in a European Framework: Pointing the Way to Quality Galway 8-10 July 2002 Celtic Groundwater: Current Pressures and Future Responses Bruce D.R. Misstear Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland, Nick S. Robins British Geological Survey, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK Abstract The Celtic regions of Ireland and Britain have much in common with regard to groundwater occurrence and groundwater management. The hydrogeology is dominated by fracture flow in bedrock formations, and by an extensive covering of glacial and other Quaternary deposits. Groundwater development is mainly on a small scale for rural water supplies, but there is a very large number of wells and springs. Groundwater plays an important part in the cultural heritage of the Celtic lands, as indicated by the many holy wells. Groundwater also has an important environmental role, for example, as baseflow to rivers and wetlands. There are many pressures on Celtic groundwater, on both its quality and its quantity. Groundwater quality is under threat from numerous point sources of pollution, including septic tank systems, farmyards and abandoned mines, and from diffuse pollution from agricultural fertilisers. In response, comprehensive groundwater protection policies have been introduced in England, Wales, Scotland and in both parts of Ireland. Regarding groundwater quantity, the bedrock aquifers generally have a low storage coefficient and so are susceptible to dewatering effects from over-pumping. Making aquifer withdrawals subject to a licensing process can alleviate some of the pressures on groundwater quantity; however, to date, abstraction licensing procedures are in place only in those Celtic aquifers lying within England and Wales. This situation will change with the implementation of the European Union Water Framework Directive. One of the challenges that hydrogeologists will face in quantifying groundwater resources is the scarcity of reliable hydrogeological data throughout the Celtic regions. Also, much remains to be done in meeting the directive s aim that groundwater and surface water should be managed in an integrated fashion. This will necessitate an improved understanding of aquifer-stream relationships. Gearrchuntas Uisce Talún Ceilteach: Brú agus an Todhchaí. Is cosúil le chéile iad na ceantair Cheilteacha in Éirinn agus sa Bhreatain Mhór maidir le cursaí uisce talún. Lonnaíonn usice talún na dtíortha Ceilteacha seo, den chuid is mó, i scoilteanna sa bhuncharraig agus ins an dríodar a leagadh síos i rith na hoighearaoise. Is beag forbairt ar uisce talún atá déanta go fóill ach ar scála ana bheag faoin tuath: ach tá cuid mhór toibreacha agus fuaráin againn. Bhí uisce talún riamh tábhachtach i ndúchas cultúrtha na dtíortha Ceilteacha, mar is léir, ó na toibreacha beannaithe atá fairsing. Cothaíonn an t-uisce talún na h-aibhneacha agus na riasca comh maith. Is iomaí brú atá ar an uisce talún Ceilteach, ó thaobh truaillithe agus flúirse de. Tá foinsí truaillithe ag bagairt air - dabhaigh múnlaigh, clósanna feirme agus mianaigh tréigthe, leasúchán talmhaíochta. Tá polasí cuimsitheach chun uisce talún a cosaint, dírithe ar na 1

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