Electronic letter of the Group of European Basin Organizations         for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive

Electronic letter of the Group of European Basin Organizations
for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive
N° 2  - August 2010


The water regime of all the large European rivers
is being modified!


All the large European rivers, the Ebro, Rhone, Po, Rhine, Danube, Vistula… and their main tributaries have their headwaters in mountains and have mainly a snow-glacier regime, characterized by:

  • snow precipitations during the cold period, allowing a natural limitation of flows and thus of floods in autumn and winter,
  • water release during the warm period, with the melting of snow and glaciers to feed the summer low water levels, mainly downstream, in the large European plains.

Today, the mountains are providing an essential share to the flows of all the large European rivers, 34% of the total annual flow of the Rhine, 41% of that of the Rhone up to 53% of the flow of the Po, i.e. on the average 2 to 6 times more than their relative surface area as compared to that of each basin. Thus for example, even though only 11% of the Rhine River Basin is located in the Alps, the latter thus provides 34% of the annual flow, but also more than 50% of the summer flow, when water is particularly required especially by the farmers using irrigation when rainfall is low.

With the already very significant effect of Climate Change in mountains, with the reduction in the snow cover and the melting of glaciers, the flows of all the large European rivers, which have their headwaters there, will be appreciably modified : On the average there would be before 2100 an increase of + 20% in the winter flows, but a reduction of -17% in spring and up to - 55% in the summer flows and the frequency and intensity of the floods in autumn, winter and springs, and summer droughts will significantly increase.

The European Commission has already identified 33 Basins which are affected by water shortages. They cover an area of 460.000 km2, representing 10% of the European Union and 83 million people live there, i.e. 16.5% of the population of the EU.

To face these challenges, it is necessary to better recognize the role of mountains for the community as a whole and to better help the mountain dwellers, within integrated basin policies, so that they can manage the territories, ecosystems and mountain water resources, build the integrated infrastructures necessary upstream to continue protecting downstream areas against risks and provide the plains and our big cities with abundant quality water, which they will increasingly need…

New water governance is needed in mountains to face climate change!

-› Continuation : http://www.inbo-news.org...Megeve2010-...

Our next large meeting

8th International Conference on the implementation
of the European Framework Directive

22-24 September 2010 - Megève (France)


The next « EUROPE-INBO 2010 » international conference, organized by the « Group of European Basin Organizations for the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive», will take place, at the invitation of the French Water Agencies, on 22, 23 and 24 September 2010 in MEGEVE – France.

Of course, this conference will be organized around main and current topics on the implementation of the Framework Directive (WFD) in the National and Transboundary River Basin Districts, in particular:

  • Progress made in the preparation of the WFD Management Plans: their contents, follow-up methods (indicators, management charts…),
  • The Programs of Measures 2010 - 2015, implementation, stakeholders’ mobilization, local contracts, financing of actions,
  • Combined implementation of the WFD and « groundwater », « floods » and « marine strategy » Directives,
  • Strategies for prevention of drought risks in Europe: national strategies, monitoring, warning systems,
  • Measures to be planned for adapting Water Bodies to the effects of climate change, resources management, development of upper basins, upstream–downstream common cause, optimization of the water demands, agricultural policy, hydropower, navigation on waterways, reservoirs, transfers, etc.
  • Cooperation with the neighboring Countries, non-members of the European Union, for the application of the WFD principles and methods.

As the conference is taking place in the Alps, special attention will be paid to the characteristics of hydrological and ecological regions and water bodies in European mountains, basin heads, and to the specific measures, that should be considered for adapting to the effects of climate change on the hydrology of the big European Rivers.

There will be simultaneous translation into English and French.

Registration to the « EUROPE-INBO 2010 » conference is free of charge.

Information :

EURO-RIOB 2010 : http://www.inbo-news.org/..
Registration form - Preparatory documents

Consult the reports of the previous "EUROPE-INBO" conferences "

the reports of the previous international conferences on "Water in Mountains"
Megève (FRANCE) - September 2006
Megève (FRANCE) - September 2002

Send us your next events
on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive info@inbo-news.org

 European Commission

Guidance document on climate change

ECOn 30 November 2009, the European Commission and the Water Directors of the Member States adopted, within the WFD Common Implementation Strategy, a new guidance document.

-› Download the document :
« River basin management in a changing climate»

 European Environment Agency

Regional Climate Change and adaptation -
The Alps facing the challenge of changing water resources


-› Download the report of the European Environment Agency

The summary and the references of the document

 Alpine Commission

Water and Water Resources Management issues:
Report on the State of the Alps

Alpine Convention

-› Download the report of the Alpine Convention

The summary and the references of the document


Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change


-› Download the report (12Mo) in English

References of the document

 INBO General Assembly - January 2010

Adapting to the effects of climate change in basins:
Tools for action.


-› Download the "Declaration of Dakar"

All the other documents of the workshop of the General Assembly on this topic:

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