WATERDRIVE is a pan-Baltic project with activities supporting transnational cooperation and actions in 8 countries: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. The experienced partnership is well anchored within the target groups, including local/regional authorities, agricultural advisory services, practitioners, farming communities and other water/land managers.

The project enhances local implementation practices for responsible water management, aiming to improve water quality and strengthen ecosystem services. Specifically, the project boosts capacity building in best practices for multi-actor implementation, facilitation by catchment officers, new technologies and decision support, spatial planning for precision water management, flood and drought management, and adaptation of policies and compensations systems. Activities are geared towards improving local implementation practices and achieving sustainable impact. The project does not focus on any specific measure or action, but provides tools and capacities for the target groups in order to optimise the management of their own water resources and ecosystems on a long-term basis.

National program evaluations, reviews by the European Court of Auditors, and HELCOM assessments indicate that there are major gaps in the realisation of water quality targets set by national and international directives, e.g. the WFD. The wide gaps reflect the lack of real opportunities and capacities for local authorities and communities to reach these targets and still develop a competitive rural business. WATERDRIVE aims to bridge this gap.

WATERDRIVE will combine environmental objectives with social and economic development objectives in rural areas.