Danube River Basin Management - Rationale and Results: How to Link Science, as the basis for Policy
Weller, Philip; Popovici, Mihaela
The paper presents the legal and institutional framework of transboundary water management within the Danube River Basin (DRB), the most international river basin in the world, and how the cooperation among the Danube States is organized under the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) through the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). The ICPDR is the coordinating platform for the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (EU WFD), the most comprehensive EU legislation. ICPDR uses results gained by scientific institutions in order to achieve proper management policies and decisions. Organic pollution, nutrients pollution, hazardous substances pollution, and hydromorphological alterations have been identified as Significant Water Management Issues (SWMI). Major reduction of pollution from 1990 onward is documented by basin-wide monitoring and the regular Joint Danube Surveys (JDS). Basic information such as eco-regions, river types and reference conditions, hydrological discharge, chemical and biological state, main pressures and drivers are compiled in the Roof Report (2005) and the DRB Management Plan (DRBMP). All water bodies have been classified whether at risk or not at risk to meeting the WFD objectives. The DRBMP and the Joint Programme of Measures (JPM) elucidate the scientific gaps of knowledge, the open problems in implementing measures, as well as the economic and political challenges ahead of the Danube countries towards meeting the WFD objectives.