Mechanisms that we already have for implementing water related European Directives, are referred to as ‘basic measures’. These ‘basic measures’ comprise a comprehensive suite of obligations under eleven key European Directives. We already use these mechanisms to protect our waters and the dependent ecology. These existing measures have helped to improve water quality and represent a considerable amount of activity and investment. However, further improvements are required in some areas and we must also ensure that existing waters that are at good status do not deteriorate. This document provides a general description of the mechanisms that are currently available and how we are using them.