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1.1       What are European significant water management issues?

The significant water management issues (SWMIs) give an overview of the key issues and challenges affecting the water environment that are considered to put our ability to achieve the WFD objectives most at risk. The SWMIs are part of WFD Article 14 and are presented in public consultation summary documents at river basin district (RBD), national or international level as an intermediate step in the preparation of the RBMPs.

Public consultation on the SWMIs helps in shaping priorities of the main issues that need to be tackled with measures in the next RBMP. In addition to presenting evidence on the main pressures and their sources, the summaries of SWMIs also inform on the measures currently being implemented as well as outline further possible solutions to address these issues (Figure 1). Thus, public consultation on the SWMIs is an opportunity to comment on measures identified for addressing the key issues and to propose additional measures that could make an important contribution.

Similar to the first and second planning cycles, Member States have published summaries of significant water management issues (SWMIs) for a 6-month public consultation in preparation of their third RBMPs.

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