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Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania
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Surface water and groundwater protection

River basin management

2015-12-14

Directive 2000/60/EC of European Parliament and of the Council establish in a framework for Community action in the field of water policy often known as Water Framework Directive was adopted in 2000. The main principle of this directive is water management by river basin - the natural geographical and hydrological unit - instead of according to administrative or political boundaries. The aim is long-term sustainable water management based on a high level of protection of the aquatic environment. Implementing Water Framework Directive each EU country must identify river basins in their national territory and prepare management plan with the aim to reach good status in every water body. In the case of transboundary river basin countries should ensure coordination in whole river basin by preparing one international river basin management plan or coordinated river basin management plan. River basin management plans are prepared for six-year period. In Lithuania was identified four river basins districts (Nemunas, Venta, Dauguva and Lielupe), all of them are international river basins. Nemunas river basin district covers 71 percent of Lithuanian territory and for the management purposes Lithuanian part of Prieglius river basin, Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic coastal waters assigned to it. In 2010 were adopted the first river basin management plans for all four Lithuanian river basins for 2010-2015 period. Currently river basins management plans are updated for the 2016-2021 period. During the preparation of 2nd cycle river basin management plans were identified 1185 water bodies in Lithuania, 822 identified as river category water bodies, 357 – lake category water bodies, 4 – transitional and 2 coastal river water bodies. 49 percent of rivers and 60 percent of lakes water bodies correspond to the requirements of good ecological status and no transitional and coastal waters correspond to these requirements. There are identified 20 ground water bodies, each of them assigned to the nearest river basin district. Lithuanian ground water bodies correspond to the good status criteria. The main pressures remain for the surface water bodies remains agricultural pollution, river straightening, past pollution, secondary pollution from the sediments and transboundary pollution.

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas