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Country description

Harmonisation of standards of Ukraine with EU in the sphere of water management, and particularly, the development of integrated water resources management is one of the priorities of Ukrainian ecological policy.

Water relations in Ukraine are regulated by Water Code, the Law of Ukraine "On Nature Environment Protection" and the other legislative acts.

The Water Code of Ukraine from June 6, 1995 of No. 213/95-BP was already adopting an integrated basin approach (Cf. Art.1) by taking into account “all waters” within the Ukraine territory, specifies the ownership of groundwater and surface waters and regulates the management, the conservation and use of the water resources. It also regulates the institutional competencies between governmental stakeholders in water sector. The last edition from 28/12/2014 together with the amendments passed on 4 October 2016 has completed the harmonization with the WFD.

The current legal framework for EU-Ukraine relations is provided by the Association Agreement (AA), which replaced Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) in 2014. The signing of the political part of the agreement on 21 of March 2014 made step forward implementation of the results of 10 years work of Ukraine on harmonization / approximation of environmental legislation1 to the EU legislation, including EU water legislation, particularly the EU WFD.

Under this AA, Ukraine is to transpose 6 water related directives: Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, EU Floods Directive 2007/60/EC, Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC, Urban Waste Water Directive 91/271/EEC, Drinking Water Directive 98/83/EC and Nitrates Directive 91/676/EEC. There is implementation plan for all of these directives. Most importantly, the water code was revised on 4/10/2016 to transpose WFD, Floods Directive and nitrates directive. In addition there are working groups constituted for drafting of secondary legislation, with the support of EU-funded APENA project.

In 2009, the State Programme on Water Sector Development up to 2020 was adopted. This addresses climate change adaptation issues, and the implementation of river basin management principles. The main directions of the National Water Program are:

  • Development of water management and land-melioration by improving ecological status of drained and irrigated areas
  • Providing rural population with centralized water-supply
  • Protection rural settlements and agricultural land from negative water influence
  • Integrated flood control and protection areas within the Tisza, Dnister, Prut and Siret river basins
  • Ecological enhancement of the Dnipro river basin and drinking water quality improvement
  • Implementation of integrated river basin approach in water management.
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