NRA's climbdown on water quality objectives

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) has watered down its proposals on statutory water quality objectives (SWQOs) following pressure from the water industry and the Department of the Environment (DoE). It has dropped plans to include biological monitoring from the statutory element of the scheme, reducing its potential for protecting aquatic life.

SWQOs are to be set on a catchment-by-catchment basis by the Secretary of State following proposals from the NRA. They will be made under section 83 of the Water Resources Act 1991, and will specify the quality goals to be achieved for particular stretches of water by specified deadlines. The improvements in effluent quality to be achieved by dischargers will be derived from the SWQOs.

The NRA's initial proposals for a water quality class

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