Table of contents

5. PROTECTED AREAS (SCHEMAS SWB AND GWB)

According to Article 6 and Annex IV of the WFD, Member States shall ensure the establishment of a register or registers of all areas lying within each RBD which have been designated as requiring special protection under specific Community legislation for the protection of their surface water and groundwater, or for the conservation of habitats and species directly depending on water, including the protection of Natura 2000 sites and economically significant aquatic species (e.g. shellfish).

A summary of the register of Protected Areas should be part of the RBMPs, including maps indicating the location of each Protected Area and a description of the Community, national or local legislation under which the Protected Areas have been designated. It is expected that all Protected Areas will be reported under the surface water body (SWB) and groundwater body (GWB) schemas, through their links to the surface and groundwater bodies.

The relevant EU legislation for the protection of water with more stringent objectives includes the following directives:

  • Drinking Water Directive (80/778/EEC, as amended by Directive 98/83/EC).
  • Shellfish Directive (2006/113/EC).
  • Freshwater Fish Directive (2006/44/EC).
  • Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC)11.
  • Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC)9.
  • Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC)8.
  • Birds Directive (2009/147/EC).
  • Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).

The Freshwater Fish Directive and the Shellfish Directive were repealed on 22 December 2013. According to the WFD, the level of protection should be maintained through the inclusion of the designated areas as Protected Areas under WFD. The necessary additional objectives and measures should be included in the RBMPs and PoMs.

For water bodies which are designated as Protected Areas, the Environmental Objectives set are beyond good status, as more stringent objectives have been set for those areas in the relevant Community legislation.

Annex VII (7)(1) of the WFD requires that the RBMPs contain ‘a summary of the measures required implementing Community legislation for the protection of water’. The additional measures for Protected Areas should be an integral part of the RBMPs in order to ensure that the requirements of those Protected Areas are included in the overall management of the RBDs and to ensure the coherence of the entire water planning with the objectives already established by other Community and national legislation.

Article 4.1(c) of the WFD states that ‘Member States shall achieve compliance with any standards and objectives at the latest 15 years after the date of entry into force of this Directive, unless otherwise specified in the Community legislation under which the individual Protected Areas have been established’. Therefore, water bodies in the Protected Areas must be of good status by 2015 at the latest, and earlier if required by another piece of Community legislation. If a water body is not of good status then it would be expected that an exemption under Article 4.4 of the WFD has been applied.

The additional measures can be of the same nature as those for the WFD (e.g. measures to reduce nitrogen loss from agriculture, or measures to improve the hydromorphological status in a river) but they need to reach a higher level of improvement of status. Alternatively, they may need to address different aspects of pollution which are not included in the WFD definition of good status (e.g. microbiological standards for the protection of shellfish and bathing waters). There can also be different kinds of measures targeted towards the specific objectives for the protection of the area.

As with any other WFD Environmental Objective, exemptions may apply provided the conditions in the relevant Articles are fulfilled. In the case of Protected Areas, it needs to be ensured that the WFD exemptions do not undermine the objectives under the relevant legislation. Reporting of exemptions linked to Protected Areas refer only to the additional objectives set (e.g. based on Article 4(1)(c). Exemptions from the WFD Environmental Objectives in Articles 4(1)(a) and 4(1)b are reported in the context of the reporting of the relevant status of surface or groundwater (see relevant parts of sections 2 and 3).

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Class SWAssociatedProtectedArea

Information regarding Protected Areas associated with surface water bodies should be reported at surface water body level according to the schema SWB.

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

comments (0)

euProtectedAreaCode - Required.

Unique EU code(s) of the (water-dependent) Protected Area(s) associated to the surface water body. If applicable, report the code of the Protected Area as previously reported under other directives. If it has not been reported under other Directives, report the code reported under the GML schema ProtectedAreas (see Annex 5 GIS guidance).

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protectedAreaType - Required.(ProtectedAreaType_Enum)

Report the type for each Protected Area related to the surface water body.

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protectedAreaOtherType - Conditional.

If the type of Protected Area is reported as ‘Other’, provide more information.

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protectedAreaAssociationType - Required.(ProtAreaAssociationType_Enum)

Report the type of association that the surface water body has with the Protected Area. The boundaries of surface water bodies and Protected Areas will not always directly coincide with each other.

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protectedAreaHabitatsBirdsObjectivesSet - Conditional.(ProtectedAreaHabitatsBirdsObjective_Enum)

Indicate whether specific water objectives have been set to protect relevant water dependent protected habitats and species by selecting the appropriate option from the enumeration list.

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protectedAreaHabitatsBirdsObjectivesMet - Conditional.(YesNoNoInformation_Union_Enum)

Indicate whether the objectives set to protect water dependent habitats and species in Habitats and Birds Protected Areas are met:

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protectedAreaDrinkingWaterObjectivesSet - Conditional.(YesNo_Enum)

Indicate whether additional, specific standards have been set to protect drinking water by selecting the appropriate option from the enumeration list.

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protectedAreaDrinkingWaterObjectivesMet - Conditional.(YesNoNoInformation_Union_Enum)

Indicate whether the specific standards set to protect drinking water quality in Article 7 Abstraction for Drinking Water Protected Areas are met:

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protectedAreaShellfishObjectivesSet - Conditional (ProtectedAreaShellfishObjective_Enum)

Indicate whether microbiological standards have been set to protect shellfish by selecting the appropriate option from the enumeration list.

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protectedAreaShellfishObjectivesMet - Conditional.(YesNoNoInformation_Union_Enum)

Indicate whether the microbiological standards set to protect shellfish in Shellfish Protected Areas are met:

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protectedAreaComment - Optional.

If objectives have not been set or standards have not been met for the Protected Area, provide further explanation (which objectives have not been set, which standards have not been met, reasons, etc).

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protectedAreaExemption - Required.(ExemptionType_Enum)

Report which type(s) of exemption(s) from the relevant Protected Area objectives or standards apply at surface water body level, or 'No exemption'. More than one exemption may apply. Provide further details in the RBMP and/or background documents. For more information see Section 5.4.4 below.

comments (0)

Class GWAssociatedProtectedArea

Information regarding Protected Areas associated with groundwater bodies should be reported at groundwater body level according to the schema GWB

  1. Please include here any comments which apply to all the schema elements in this Class.
  2. In addition to those general schema element level comments, we welcome your views on: a) whether you think this Class can be simplified;  and b) whether you think the linkages with other reporting Classes or Schemas can be improved, and how;

comments (0)

euProtectedAreaCode - Required.

Unique EU code(s) of the (water-dependent) Protected Area(s) associated to the groundwater body. If applicable, report the code of the Protected Area as previously reported under other directives. If it has not been reported under other Directives, report the code reported under the GML schema ProtectedAreas (see Annex 5 GIS guidance).

comments (0)

protectedAreaType - Conditional. (ProtectedGWAreaType_Enum)

Report the type for each Protected Area related to the groundwater body. 

comments (0)

protectAreaOtherType - Conditional.

If the type of Protected Area is reported as ‘Other’, provide more information.

comments (0)

protectedAreaAssociationType - Required. (ProtAreaAssociationType_Enum)

Report the type of association that the groundwater body has with the Protected Area. The boundaries of groundwater bodies and Protected Areas will not always directly coincide with each other.

comments (0)

protectedAreaHabitatsBirdsObjectivesSet - Conditional. (ProtectedAreaHabitatsBirdsObjective_Enum)

Indicate whether specific water objectives have been set to protect relevant groundwater dependent protected habitats and species by selecting the appropriate option from the enumeration list. 

comments (0)

protectedAreaHabitatsBirdsObjectivesMet - Conditional. (YesNoNoInformation_Union_Enum)

Indicate whether the objectives set to protect groundwater dependent habitats and species in Habitats and Birds Protected Areas are met

comments (0)

protectedAreaDrinkingWaterObjectivesSet - Conditional.(YesNo_Enum)

Indicate whether additional, specific standards have been set to protect drinking water

comments (0)

protectedAreaDrinkingWaterObjectivesMet - Conditional. (YesNoNoInformation_Union_Enum)

Indicate whether the specific standards set to protect drinking water quality in Article 7 Abstraction for Drinking Water Protected Areas are met.

comments (0)

protectedAreaComment - Optional.

If objectives have not been set or standards have not been met for the Protected Area, provide further explanation (which objectives have not been set, which standards have not been met, reasons, etc).

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protectedAreaExemption - Conditional.(ExemptionType_Enum)

Report which type(s) of exemption(s) from the relevant Protected Area objectives or standards apply at groundwater body level (if any). More than one exemption may apply. Provide further details in the RBMP and/or background documents. For more information see Section 5.4.4 below.

comments (0)