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) entered into force in 2000. It sets out the environmental objectives for all European surface and ground waters. 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 central element to achieving the Directive’s environmental objectives is the so-called programme of measures, to be adopted from 2009 onwards every 6 years.

Already in the preparation of the first programmes (2009-2015), the theme “Adapting to climate change” has been taken up by the River Basin Authorities. Parallel to the development of the EU White Paper “Adapting” (2009) were under the Common Implementation Strategy WFD a guidance document (no. 24) was developed to climate protection (“climate-proofing”) of management plans to support the MS and provide advice on how to undertake a “climate check” of their programmes of measures.
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 is to design a tool that allows the verification of climate robustness and the climate impact of water management activities. Particular attention will be paid to the effectiveness of measures (effectiveness), but also on the possibility of adapting the measures (flexibility) to a changing climate. Likewise, it is important to point out possible conflicts between different water uses and the adaptation to climate change and the climate itself.
  • In the course of the project, the implementation of the Floods Directive and the consideration of climate change in the preliminary assessment of flood risk will be evaluated, comparing all German river basins. The results will be published in a report.






German Environment Agency (UBA), Germany

geographic scope:

Germany, EU-28


Thomas Dworak


Michaela Matauschek