Environment Agency seeks views on water pollution, nature and invasives

The Environment Agency has launched a consultation on the best way to address the multiple challenges facing the water environment, including pollution, resources, biodiversity and invasive species.

The consultation is part of the river basin management plan process, which is a requirement of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The current river basin management plans were published in February 2016 and must be updated every six years. 

Published this morning, the consultation looks at “the challenges that limit the benefits society obtains from the water environment” and the “best way to address these issues”, focusing on the following areas: 

  • Climate and biodiversity crisis
  • Changes to water levels and flows 
  • Chemicals in the water environment
  • Invasive non-native species
  • Physical modifications 
  • Plastics pollution
  • Pollution from abandoned mines
  • Pollution from agriculture and rural areas
  • Pollution from towns, cities and transport
  • Pollution from water industry wastewater
  • Catchment partnership working

The EA says the country “now take[s] more from our rivers and groundwater than we or rainfall put back” and that across England “we over-abstract from around 20% of rivers and 26% of groundwater bodies”, damaging rivers, springs, aquifers, lakes and wetlands.

Close

EU Directive 2000/60/EC: Establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy [Water Framework Directive]

In force/
Current
Legislation
EU
Published
10 Nov 2014

Commentary

31/10/2014 Amending EU Directive (2014/101/EU) published.

Compliance Dates

22/12/2015 All ground and surface waters to reach good status by 22/12/2015, 22/12/2020 The cessation or phasing out of discharges, emissions or losses of priority hazardous substances, 22/12/2003 Transposition deadline is 22/12/2003, 22/12/2009 Water Basin Management Plans must be prepared for each river basin district

Characteristics

Subject

Water

Source

EU OJ (Official Journal of the European Union)

Affected Sectors

Cross-sector Water
ECM

EU Directive 2000/60/EC: Establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy [Water Framework Directive]

Document Status: In force/Current

Scope: EU

Commentary:

31/10/2014 Amending EU Directive (2014/101/EU) published.

Compliance:

22/12/2015 All ground and surface waters to reach good status by 22/12/2015, 22/12/2020 The cessation or phasing out of discharges, emissions or losses of priority hazardous substances, 22/12/2003 Transposition deadline is 22/12/2003, 22/12/2009 Water Basin Management Plans must be prepared for each river basin district

It notes that 10% of freshwater and wetland species are threatened with extinction and two-thirds are in decline, and that “70% of surface waters in England are in danger of deteriorating as a result of invasive species”. 

Chemical pressures on water bodies include cypermethrin, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and related substances, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and mercury, it says. 

The consultation closes on 24 April. The agency says it will publish and consult on draft new river basin plans in 2020. 

The consultation can be viewed here.

 

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