The Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC is the most significant piece of European water legislation to be produced for over twenty years.
The Water Framework Directive rationalises and updates existing water legislation and introduces an integrated and co-ordinated approach to water management in Europe based on the concept of river basin planning.
The overall requirement of the Directive is to achieve "good ecological and good chemical status" by 2015.
The Estonian territory forms three river basin districts, which are divided into 8 subdistricts.
The elaboration of the river basin management plans in Estonia started officially in 2001. After assessment and revision of those the management plans for the three Estonian river basin districts should be drafted by the 2009.
Valid legislation gives special attention to public inclusion considering water management and protection. On state level officials and experts are aware of the need for public inclusion and consider that as a priority. On the other hand nobody knows exactly how to implement that in practice. On local level the awareness about the Directive is really low and we can only talk about general expectations related to the affiliation in the European Union.
The fixed implementation of the river basin management plans and also the Water Framework Directive can happen only after the final three Estonia`s river basin management plans are achieved.