Screening tool for the climate proofing of River Basin Management Plans

Screening tool for the climate proofing of River Basin Management Plans

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) came into force in 2000. It defines the environmental objectives for all European surface and groundwaters. The objectives of the Directive are to protect waters, preventing deterioration and protecting and improving the state of water bodies, terrestrial ecosystems and wetlands. The key to achieving the Directive’s environmental objectives is the so-called programme of measures, which is to be adopted every 6 years from 2009.

Already during the preparation of the first programmes (2009-2015), the topic “Adapting to climate change” was taken up by the River Basin Authorities. Parallel to the development of the EU White Paper “Adapting” (2009) a guideline (no. 24) on climate protection (“climate-proofing”) of management plans to support the MS and provide advice on conducting a “climate check” was developed under the Common Implementation Strategy WFD. This “climate check” included their measure-programmes.

The project had two objectives:

  • Develop a practical, methodologically sound approach for assessing climate robustness and climate impact of local water management measures. The aim was to design a tool that allows the verification of climate robustness and the climate impact of water management activities. Particular attention was paid to the effectiveness of measures (effectiveness), but also on the possibility of adapting the measures (flexibility) to a changing climate. Likewise, it was important to point out possible conflicts between different water uses and adaptation to climate change as well as the climate itself.
  • The project evaluated the implementation of the Floods Directive and the consideration of climate change in the preliminary flood risk assessment, comparing all German river basins. The results were published in a report.






German Environment Agency (UBA), Germany

geographic scope:

Germany, EU-28


Thomas Dworak


Michaela Matauschek
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