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The European environment – state and outlook 2010

The European environment – state and outlook 2010

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Freshwaters - Outlook to 2020 (SOER 2010)

Outlook concerning ecological and chemical status for surface water and a good quantitative and chemical status for groundwater in the Belgian regions

Key message

Belgium still has a long way to go in order to achieve a good status by 2015

The 2000/60/EC directive requires integrated management of water by river basin district, and sets strict qualitative and quantitative objectives so that surface and groundwater can maintain or achieve a good status by 2015 (a good ecological and chemical status for surface water and a good quantitative and chemical status for groundwater). The Belgian territory is concerned by 4 international river basin districts (Scheldt, Meuse, Rhine and in a very small extent Seine).

At the current stage of the analysis, 62 % of the Belgian surface water bodies (348/559) run the risk of not achieving a good qualitative status by 2015. The problems are mainly in the district of the Scheldt and in certain sub-catchments in the Meuse district (e.g. Sambre and Vesdre for example). Regarding ground waters, the situation is quite similar in the sense that approximately 58 % of water bodies run the risk of not achieving a good chemical and quantitative status by 2015.

 

 

Failure to achieve a good (ecological and chemical) status in 2015 for surface waters (number of water bodies)

 

Flemish Region

Walloon Region

Brussels Capital Region

Total

Risk

195

151

2

348

No Risk

7

203

1

211

Undetermined Risk

0

0

0

0

Total

202

354

3

559

 

Failure to achieve a good (chemical and quantitative) status in 2015 for ground waters (number of water bodies)

 

Flemish Region

Walloon Region

Brussels Capital Region

Total

Risk

35

10

1

46

No Risk

7

23

4

34

Undetermined Risk

0

0

0

0

Total

42

33

5

80

Sources : VMM (Integraal Water Beleid - Vol van Water), SPW-DGARNE (directive-cadre eau), IBGE-BIM

 

Management plans in the Belgian regions

Key message

The three Belgian Regions have drawn up their River Basin Management plans.

After a status report of the water bodies and the implementation of surveillance networks, the three Belgian regions have drawn up river basin management plans. These plans must, in particular, set the reference conditions for a good status, the environmental objectives, possible exemptions, and the measures to put in place within each river basin district (Rhine, Meuse, Scheldt, and Seine). All the measures must be operational before 31 December 2012.

The current plans propose several measures mainly geared towards the agricultural and industrial sectors as well as towards protecting zones which are at risk (Natura 2000, bathing zones, groundwater catchment protection zones etc.). A large proportion of the actions proposed are already included in regulations (basic measures). Nevertheless, a series of supplementary measures must be applied for water bodies which are at risk, in other words, where the basic measures are inefficient. These supplementary measures are the subject of a cost/efficiency study, the results of which will have to justify, for some water bodies, the eventual recourse to exemptions in the form of a postponement of deadlines or objectives which are not as strict.