Water is traditionally a topic of extremely high importance in Spain. A river basin management approach has been employed since the 1920s through River Basin Organisations, so-called Hydrographic Confederations. The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) was transposed into Spanish law through adaptation of the Water Act in 2003, during a period in which water management was becoming a major area of political and social conflict in Spain. WFD implementation opened the door to the involvement of new groups in water policy, such as environmental groups, the scientific community, social movements and citizens. Interviewed participants reported having neither improved their knowledge about the WFD and sustainable water management, nor learned about new participative methodologies or the perspectives of different stakeholders. According to Oficína de Participación Hidrológica de Cantábria (OPHC), the majority of measures comprising their list are conducive to WFD aims and target the main water management issues within the sub-basins.