European and Dutch Water Law

By Herman Havekes, Marleen van Rijswick

In Europe, water law has become more and more important over the last decades. Having started as part of European environmental law, water law is now developing towards integrated water management, based on a river basin management approach. The focus broadens from the protection and improvement of water quality towards sustainable use of water as a natural resource, combined with the protection against flooding, protection of the marine environment, safe drinking water, and fresh water supply. The right to water is recognized by the European Union, but will have its effect through European water directives. This development has its impact on the law of the national Member States. In this book, modern European water law, and its implementation in the Netherlands, is described and analyzed. The Netherlands has a long history in water management, both regarding governance and management. Its legal system dates from the 12th century, and it is an example of a resilient legal system that has been able to adapt towards necessary water management in the 21th century - a time in which countries have to deal with the effects of climate change and in which the water needs of millions of people must be guaranteed in a fair and sustainable way. The book deals both with general concepts (such as the right to water, leading principles, transnational river basin management, the programmatic approach, and shared responsibilities) and the financing of water management based on the principle of cost recovery for water services. There is specific attention paid to the recent integration of European and Dutch water law as a result of the European Water Framework Directive and the typical Dutch organization of regional water management by regional water authorities. The main water issues, like the protection of water quality, the protection against flooding, fresh water supply, drinking water supply, waste water collection and treatment, the relation with spatial planning, and the protection of the marine environment, are discussed from both a European and a Dutch perspective.


520 pages

Publication Date: 5/11/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789089521071