Improving administrative effectiveness of lake management in the frames of River Basin Management Plans : Implementation Plan
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Fresh waters make only 3% of the global water resources. Freshwater lakes, including reservoirs and ponds, are important elements for communities and their relevance is increasing. Lake ecosystems and their catchments have provided several societally valuable benefits and ecosystem services like shelter, drinking water, bathing water, food, a means of travel and wealth in a number of ways and allowed whole cultures to develop. Lakes have values associated with well-being and relaxation, their proximity has catalyzed rural development and been important in the regional socio-economic development. Lake districts are often very popular destinations for domestic and foreign tourism and visitors. Eutrophication and its ecological consequences, pollution, over abstraction and invasive species are serious threats and increase the need for restoration and management to prevent the potential adverse economic and social impacts. There is increasing evidence that lakes are affected by climate change. Lake management is for these reasons an important part of sustainable regional development as set by Lisbon and Gothenburg agreements. However, the most significant piece of legislation in response to the increasing threat of pollution and the increasing demand from the public for cleaner lakes, rivers and beaches and freshwater biodiversity, is the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). This Directive is unique in that it sets out an established framework for the protection of all water bodies (including lakes) and for all EU member states to achieve good water ecological status by December 2015. This objective is likely to be achieved in slightly over half (53 %) of EU waters (A blueprint…, 2013) and, therefore, more effort need to be scheduled for the following 6-year periods of WFD. The economic values of attractive, clean lakes are well established. There is a rising appreciation of good quality lakes across Europe. More intensive lake protection through sharing good practices with European lake managers and the regional influencing bodies is critical if we want to improve the current quality of lakes in Europe and to build long term capacity for sustainable use of lakes.