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Water Act No. 58/2005.

Type of law

This Law is composed of 107 articles divided into ten Chapters. It approves the Water Act and implements European Community Directive No. 2000/60/EC establishing the basic legal framework for water sustainable management. In particular, the Law applies to the management of surface water, inland waters, groundwater, transition and coastal waters. The aim is to: protect and improve ecosystems and related wetlands as for water concerns; promote a sustainable water use based on long-term protection of available water resources; improve water quality by reducing discharges and emissions negative effects; reduce groundwater pollution; mitigate floods and droughts effects; grant a sufficient water supply, as well as its quality and equitable use; protect marine water; assure the compliance with relevant international treaties and agreements. The Law provides a detailed institutional framework of the competent authorities and divides Portugal into ten hydrographical Regions (four of which are defined international hydrographical regions as they are shared with Spain). Moreover, it introduces four Hydrographical Region Administrations (ARH) and, for each of them, an advisory Regional Hydrograph Council (CRH). A National Water Council is also established as advisory body to the Government. Moreover, the Law provides a classification of different water resources and, for each one, rules on management plans. Finally, the Law regulates the following aspects: water monitoring objectives, water resources use, hydraulic infrastructure, economic and financial system, information and public participation, control and sanctions.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
This Law enters into force the day after its publication.
This Law repeals Decree-Law No. 70/90 of 2 March 1990.
Serial Imprint
Di rio da Rep blica I S rie-A, No. 249, 29 December 2005, pp. 7280-7310.
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment
Original title
Lei n. 58/2005 - Lei da gua.