Spanish Government approves the update of the Hydrological Planning Regulation

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On December 28, at the proposal of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), the Council of Ministers approved a royal decree amending the Hydrological Planning Regulations to update the requirements and procedures that are They will take into account the next basin hydrological plans and the special drought plans.

This new regulation is an update of the one approved in 2007 and aims to adapt to the lines of the European Green Deal and, in general, to the national and international policies adopted in the field of water in recent years.

Among the main novelties, the modification of the Hydrological Planning Regulation includes the regulation of special drought plans to indicate their minimum required content and their preparation, processing, approval and review procedures. It also highlights the consideration of climate change in the new cycle of hydrological planning, the harmonization of the regulatory content in the plans of the entire territory and the updating of the requirements for publication and notification of these documents to the European Union, adapting to the new Information technology and communications.

This new regulation also reinforces the criteria to justify exemptions to the achievement of environmental objectives, especially when it comes to promoting new modifications of the physical characteristics of water bodies. In addition, this modification establishes the programs of measures that each of the competent administrations must promote, both for the hydrological plans and for specific actions (works, studies and works) with an associated investment budget.

Regarding the third-cycle hydrological plans, which will be approved in the coming months, they will benefit in the short term from this regulatory change, since it formally establishes what until now had been coordination instructions issued by the General Water Directorate. The new regulation will allow, among other things, hydrological planning to be consistent throughout the Spanish territory, correcting the problem detected in some opinions of the State Council that warned about the normative dispersion between the different demarcations.

It should be remembered that this update is part of a package of reform actions agreed with the European Commission within component 5 on coastal space and water resources of the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

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