Groundwater and the Swedish Water Framework Directive implementation

SGU has an important role in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive through regulations, guidance and data supply.

The European Union member states have agreed upon implementing a common management of water through the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC) to maintain or improve the quality of surface waters, groundwaters and coastal waters in Europe. Objectives for groundwater quantity are also found in the WFD. The groundwater directive (2006/118/EC) specifically targeted on groundwater quality, is one of several daughter directives complementing the WFD.

The directives have been transposed into Swedish national legislation through the Environmental Act, the Ordinance on Water Management (SFS 2004:660), and central authority regulations. SGU is responsible for the regulations on groundwater management:

  • Initial and further characterisation of groundwater (SGU-FS 2013:1)
  • Environmental quality standards and status classification (SGU-FS 2013:2)
  • Groundwater monitoring (SGU-FS 2014:1)
  • Preparation and reporting of River Basin Management Plans and Programmes of Measures (SGU-FS 2017:1)

Guidance to the groundwater regulations are given by SGU on-line.

SGU is participating in the WFD Common Implementation Strategy, in the Working Group on Groundwater. One of the tasks of the group is to develop guidance documents with a common view on directive interpretation and implementation. The common guidelines are then introduced into Swedish implementation via the national guidance documents and regulations.

The WFD requires the Member States to prepare River Basin Management Plans including Programmes of Measures for each River Basin District to be reported to the European Commission every 6 years. The main responsibility for implementation lies on five Water District Authorities, with the County Administrative Boards assisting them.

The five Water District Authorities

SGU supports the water authorities in tasks related to characterisation, risk and status assessment, monitoring, measures, reporting, and so forth. SGU is also the main groundwater data provider including groundwater body delineations and hydrogeological data, monitoring stations, chemical analyses and water levels for risk analysis and status classification.

Guidance for surface water management is given by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. 

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management

Last reviewed 2020-09-21