Healthy Catchments

Managing water for flood risk and  the Water Framework Directive


The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a European directive which aims to protect and improve the water environment. Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) can have a big impact both positive and negative on the water environment.

The WFD is implemented through River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs). These plans identify a series of mitigation measures (referred to here as environmental improvements) which need to be implemented to improve the ecology of water bodies by a specific deadline.  This section of the RESTORE webpage explains what the WFD means to FCERM managers and provides case study examples of how to include the WFD in your day to day work.

The case studies will show you that implementing the WFD need not be complicated. Instead, we can deliver exciting integrated solutions to improve the environment for people and wildlife.

These case studies are aimed at FCERM managers and land drainage authorities, but will be of relevance to a wider audience interested in the sustainable management of rivers, estuaries and coasts. These case studies are mainly based in England & Wales, but will be relevant to most EU countries.

How to use these webpages

These webpages will help you access information on the environmental improvements listed in RBMPs allowing you to:

  • Find out about the WFD and how it affects FCERM
  • Find information on environmental improvements and case studies to implement them
  • Access decision-making processes to help you decide how to select the right environmental improvement
  • Access other guidance and literature

Please use the links on the left to navigate through this online guide. For more information on this project, please contact:

Rosie Blackmore (rosie.blackmore@environment-agency.gov.uk)

Website compiled and produced by Royal HaskoningDHV (contact: Phil Williamson - philip.williamson@rhdhv.com)


This project has been developed to help you to implement WFD environmental improvements through use of case study examples. The case studies will be updated as more information and examples become available. The project was funded by the Defra / EA Joint Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management R&D Programme.