The EU member states are presently performing the characterisation of their water bodies according to the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). Due to different national conditions concerning the natural status and the anthropogenic pressures on water bodies, the member states are allowed to perform the characterisations differently. The ecological status of the water bodies should be reported to the EU in December 2006.
At a previous KSLA conference on the WFD held in January 2005 it was demonstrated that the number of water bodies not maintaining Good Ecological Status is dependent on how the characterisation is performed and that the methodology includes many subjective and political considerations. In this report focus is put on how some European countries implement the WFD and how EU will treat the differences. Special emphasis is put on the characterisation process and to what extent this includes public participation.