Table 1. Characteristics of the cases investigated in the postal survey

Initiative Working Groups (Germany) RBD Advisory Councils (Ireland)
Cases 34 7
Scale Small sub-basins RBD
Membership 8 to 10 members: Local authorities, water user associations, agriculture, fisheries, local and regional environmental NGOs, regional water authorities. Varies between 24 to 48 members: local authorities, farming, environmental NGOs, business and industry, academia, recreational users/fishing, consumers.
Purpose Working Groups support local implementation of WFD by examining & providing data; development of local measures. Advisory Councils support responsible authority in the preparation and implementation of RBM plans, e.g., the identification of significant issues for water management in the respective RBDs.
Stage of WFD cycle Identification of significant water management issues Identification of significant water management issues
Methods Meetings are chaired by member of the local water and soil association; groups examine, discuss, and eventually amend planning documents to be forwarded to the authority responsible for drafting RBM plans; collective development of local measures. Meetings are chaired by staff of authority responsible for drafting RBM plans; presentations are followed by plenary and round table discussions; occasional thematic workshops.
Timeline Since 2002; bi-monthly or monthly meetings. Since 2006; four meetings a year (on average).
Please note that only three out of seven Advisory Councils participated in the survey.