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The Link between Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing in the Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive: Assessing Four River Basins in Europe

1
International Center for Research on the Environment and the Economy (ICRE8), 151 25 Maroussi, Greece
2
School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7AQ, UK
3
Department of Science and Mathematics, American College of Greece-Deree, 153 42 Athens, Greece
4
School of Economics and ReSEES Laboratory, Athens University of Economics and Business, 104 34 Athens, Greece
5
Grantham Research Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London WC2A 2AE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(3), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030508
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 2 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Water Resources Management)
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Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between the environment and human wellbeing whilst considering water resource pressures in the context of ecosystem services, before assessing the management actions to facilitate human wellbeing under the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD). By focusing on four river basins in four European countries currently working to implement the WFD, we explore the effects of multiple pressures faced within each one on human wellbeing. Under an Ecosystem Services framework, we identify those effects and consolidate them into Human Wellbeing Factors to assess the management actions. Then, by conducting a qualitative content analysis, we assess the effectiveness of each Program of Measures at river basin level and relate them to Human Wellbeing Factors. Findings indicate that factors such as population growth trends intensify the effects of these pressures on human wellbeing. Finally, the paper pinpoints that human wellbeing must remain an ever-present consideration to be weighed against any other competing policy objectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated river basin management; human wellbeing; ecosystem services; policy integrated river basin management; human wellbeing; ecosystem services; policy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Akinsete, E.; Apostolaki, S.; Chatzistamoulou, N.; Koundouri, P.; Tsani, S. The Link between Ecosystem Services and Human Wellbeing in the Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive: Assessing Four River Basins in Europe. Water 2019, 11, 508.

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