§ Mr. Lidington
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the planned timetable is for implementing the Water Framework Directive in the United Kingdom. 
§ Margaret Beckett
The Directive itself sets out the timetable for its implementation, which we are following. Among the key dates are: that it must be transposed into domestic legislation by 2003; that that the characteristics of water bodies must be analysed by 2004; that river basin management plans must be published by 2009; that programmes of measures must be made operational by 2012; and that key environmental objectives must be met by 2015.