The LAWA is the German Working Group on water issues of the Federal States and the Federal Government represented by the Environment Ministers Conference (UMK).
The Working Group on water issues (LAWA) was set up in 1956 as an amalgamation of the ministries of the states of the Federal Republic of Germany responsible for water management and water legislation.
The aims of the Working Group of the federal states on water issues are to discuss in detail questions arising in the areas of water management and water legislation, to formulate solutions and to put forward recommendations for their implementation. In addition however, topical questions in the national, supranational and international sphere are also adopted, discussed on a broad basis and the findings submitted to the relevant organisations.
In order to fulfil these objectives, the LAWA has set up five permanent working groups to deal with different subjects of water legislation, hydrology, inland waters and sea conservation, ecology, flood prevention, coastal protection, groundwater, water supply, municipal and industrial sewage, handling with water polluting substances and climate change related issues. With regard to the manifold technical and legal requirements of the European Union concerning water management the international co-operation between LAWA and the responsible European committees has gained in importance over the last few years.
The results obtained from this work form a basis for the implementation of a standardised water management system within the Federal States. The formulated models do however allow sufficient freedom for taking account of specific regional characteristics.
The Working Group of the Federal States on water problems provides continuous and up-to-date information for the general public through a range of publications based upon the findings of the working groups and makes its policy documents available to all interested parties.
In particular the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is characterised by a manifold cooperation between representatives of the European memberstates and the European Commission.
The presidency of the LAWA changes every two years between the federal states in alphabetic order. In 2022 and 2023 the chair is held by Berlin.
Download of LAWA Publications in english language -- available free of charge
Zugang zu Daten, Dokumenten und Diensten der Wasserwirtschaft im Bund und den Ländern