Protect Water | WWF


Over the course of 2018 and 2019, 375,386 people called on the European Commission to defend Europe’s strong water law, making the EU’s public consultation on the legislation one of the largest ever in the history of the European Union. This law is critical to ensure that Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands are protected and brought back to good health.

The NGO-led #ProtectWater campaign inspired citizens across Europe and beyond to take a stand for Europe’s rivers, lakes and wetlands, and the strong law which protects them, the EU Water Framework Directive, during the European Commission’s ongoing fitness-check.

The public consultation is now closed . Many, many thanks to everyone who felt inspired to act through the #ProtectWater campaign - together, we have told the EU and its Member States loud and clear that this law is strong and fit for purpose! 

We will be there every step of the way to ensure that the Water Framework Directive remains intact, and will continue to push for it to be fully implemented by Member States and enforced by the European Commission so that the vast majority of Europe’s waters are returned to good health by 2027 (at the absolute latest).

According to the latest data, 60% of Europe’s rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands are not healthy. For generations we have destroyed and polluted them, and used too much water irresponsibly. 

If we continue in this way, it will affect everything - from all the small things in our day-to-day lives we take for granted, to keeping entire industries going. It will also affect all the countless species that need these ecosystems to survive. The EU water law protects our water sources, but governments now want to weaken it.

Everyone has a part to play, but our governments are allowing rivers, lakes and wetlands to be exploited in ways that cause permanent harm. For example, dams and other infrastructure (e.g. for hydropower, flood defence and navigation) sever a river’s natural flow and stop species from reproducing. Unsustainable agriculture pollutes and uses lots of water. 

Through the EU water law, governments agreed to end this destruction - but, they have failed to live up to their promises. And, to make matters worse, they now want weaken the law! 

Turning back the clock on this deterioration cannot be done without strong legislation. In Europe, we have a strong law that protects our rivers, lakes, wetlands, streams, coastal waters and groundwater – the EU Water Framework Directive. It also ensures that waters which have already been damaged are brought back to life, and by 2027 at the latest. 

But, as you read this, many governments are trying to weaken the law. This would be a terrible blow for our rivers, lakes and wetlands, and everything that depends on them. 

I can't speak up. Will you?


Europe is blessed with some of the world’s most stunning rivers, lakes and wetlands - from Soča, the so-called ‘Emerald Queen of the Alps’, to the jaw-dropping beauty of Doñana, one of Europe’s most important wetlands. 

But these incredible ecosystems are under attack.

They can't speak up. Will you?


Europe’s rivers and lakes are under attack. They can’t stand up for themselves - but these children will. Their eyes are on governments as they consider whether to #ProtectWater in 2019, or carry on dodging their legal commitments.

What about you?  


A lot of things go into making your favourite beer, but it all starts good quality water. 

Rivers, lakes, wetlands, streams and groundwater are all protected under EU law. This law makes sure that Member States protect their waters, and restore those which have already been damaged. 2027 is their final deadline. 

As you read this, many Member States are trying to weaken the law. Together, we MUST stop this. Let's keep our EU water law strong and make sure DRY BEER, DIRT BEER and LUXURY BEER stay figments of our imagination!