Original paper

Integrative water protection and river basin management policy: The Danube case

Bloesch, Jürg; Sandu, Cristina; Janning, Jörg


As the most international catchment worldwide, the Danube River Basin (DRB) faces different pressures affecting both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; these pressures encompass pollution (e.g. nutrients and xenobiotics), hydromorphological river alterations (navigation, hydropower and flood protection), land use change, invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change. Of special value in the DRB are the still existing floodplains as hotspots of biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services; hence, they deserve closer attention of conservation (e.g. nature parks), restoration and sustainable management strategies. Science proof criteria are integrated into river basin management policy by applying several basic principles (e.g., polluter/user pay, best available technique, precaution, subsidiary, solidarity), transparent planning with public participation and an integrated sustainable approach. This strategy is discussed with reference to implementation in the DRB under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).


danube river basinintegrated water management principlesscalingtransboundary water issueshuman pressuresscientific conceptsbiodiversity conservationecosystem servicessustainable useimplementation