Various assessments have been made of the costs of implementing the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in England and Wales. One of the most recent was to inform the first River Basin Management Plans, which set objectives and programmes of measures for the period 2009-15. This estimated a total cost of £300 million arising from actions undertaken in that first cycle alone. Benefits have also been assessed.
The most recent assessment by Government of the full costs of WFD implementation was made after adoption of the Directive. For England and Wales an annual cost of £900 million was estimated. The Environment Agency is now updating this analysis of WFD costs as part of the review of River Basin Management Plans for 2015-21. Draft Plans will be subject to a six-month consultation later this year. When Ministers agree the final plans, they will take into account the balance of costs and benefits and the appropriate phasing of improvements over this period (to 2021) and beyond to 2027.