The objective of this paper is to provide an analysis of the sustainability of irrigated agriculture in Italy in the context of CAP reform and Water Framework Directive. The work combines scenario analysis, multicriteria mathematical programming simulation models and economic, social and environmental indicators. Five irrigated farming systems were considered: cereals, rice, fruit, vegetables and citrus. The results show the diversity of Italian irrigated farming systems and the trade-off between socio-economic and environmental performance. This highlights the need for a differentiated application of the Water Framework Directive, balancing water conservation and rural development objectives.