Water is not a commercial product like any other but, rather, a heritage which must be protected, defended and treated as such. Waters in Greece and worldwide are under increasing pressure from the continuous growth in demand for sufficient quantities of good quality water for all purposes. In order to meet these requirements it is necessary to endorse a rational development and management policy for augmenting the supply of water in adequate quantity and quality.
However, this policy must be in compliance with sustainable development principles, such as water conservation and reuse, prevention of further deterioration and protection and enhancement of the status of aquatic ecosystems and wetlands, promotion of sustainable water use, based on a long-term protection of available water resources, enhancement of protection and improvement of the aquatic environment through specific measures for the progressive reduction of discharges, emissions and losses of priority substances and the cessation or phasing-out of discharges, emissions and losses of the priority hazardous substances
Maintaining a sustainable balance between all these aspects is the aim of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), adopted in 2000, which lays the foundation for a modern, holistic and ambitious water policy for the European Union.
The Water Framework Directive establishes a legal framework to guarantee sufficient quantities of good quality water across Europe. Its key aims are to expand water protection to all waters: inland and coastal surface waters and groundwater, to achieve "good status" for all waters by 2015, to base water management on river basins, to combine emission limit values with environmental quality standards, to ensure that water prices provide adequate incentives for water users to use water resources efficiently, to involve citizens more closely.
The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, through the Special Secretariat for Water, is responsible for the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Greece. The Secretariat, in close collaboration with the District Water Directorates, takes the initiative and coordinates all the actions needed for the successful implementation of the WFD and the relevant Daughter Directives, thus aiming at ensuring the effective protection of the aquatic environment and the sustainable development of water resources.
Special Secretariat for Water