UK NEWS        









Consultation on the approach to Flood Risk Management Plans in England and Wales
Environment Agency Consultation

(Posted 17 August 2012)

This consultation is about the approach to delivering flood risk management plans, which are a requirement of the Flood Risk Regulations, which implement the European Floods Directive. The Environment Agency has to produce flood risk management plans for rivers, the sea and reservoirs for all of England and Wales. Only Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) in Flood Risk Areas have to produce flood risk management plans. Flood Risk Areas are areas where the risk of flooding from local flood risk sources is significant as defined in Preliminary Flood Risk Assessments (PFRAs) in accordance with a method and criteria determined by Government.

The aim of the consultation is to:

  • ask LLFAs in Flood Risk Areas their views on alternative approaches to delivering flood risk management plans
  • give other LLFAs (not in Flood Risk Areas), risk management authorities and other interested stakeholders an opportunity to provide views on alternative approaches
  • ask LLFAs, risk management authorities and other stakeholders for their views on implementation of future cycles of the Flood Risk Regulations, including co-ordination with river basin management planning

The consultation is open from 03 August 2012 to 31 October 2012.

For further details and to respond visit the Environment Agency website:


Proposals for a Better Regulation Bill
Scottish Government Consultation

(Posted 17 August 2012)

This consultation sets out proposals for potential elements of the proposed Better Regulation Bill. The Bill aims to improve further the way regulations are applied in practice across Scotland, by better defining national expectations and standards and the context for local variations.

The consultation runs from 02 August to 26 October 2012.

To view the consultation documents and for information how to respond visit the Scottish Government website:(


UK national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides (plant protection products)
Defra Consultation

(Posted 17 August 2012)

This consultation invites views on the draft UK National Action Plan (NAP) for pesticides.  This is the next stage in the implementation of the EU Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides which was transposed into UK law on 18 July by the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012. The National Action Plan (NAP) is designed to ensure that plant protection products can be used sustainably in the UK and is to be developed in consultation with stakeholders including members of the public.

The consultation runs from 30 July 2012 to 22 October 2012.

To view the consultation documents and for information how to respond visit the Defra website:


New Sustainable Development Indicators
Defra Consultation

(Posted 17 August 2012)

Defra is developing a new set of sustainable development indicators to meet the Government’s commitments to transparency and sustainable development, and is carrying out an informal consultation for 12 weeks from 24th July 2012. The consultation document sets out a range of issues and considerations that have led to the development of the proposed indicator set, including those relating to the streamlining of the indicator set, and its relationship with the proposed ONS (Office for National Statistics) measures of National Wellbeing.

To view the consultation and associated documents and complete the survey on the proposed indicators visit the Defra’s Sustainable Development in the Government website:


Working Together to deliver river basin management
Environment Agency Consultation

(Posted 26 June 2012)

In December 2009, the Environment Agency published river basin management plans covering all of England and Wales that outlined what would be done to protect and improve the environment. The Environment Agency is now working to review and update them and will publish the revised plans in December 2015.

The Environment Agency wants to make sure that everyone can have the opportunity to contribute. By creating successful ways to work together, we can develop and put into practise the best solutions. The Environment Agency would like to know how different groups could work together to achieve this.

There is a consultation document for each river basin district and one for England and Wales. The England and Wales Working Together consultation document has been specifically designed to help those who would like to make comments that apply equally across one or more of the river basin districts. It includes consultation questions that are common to all the river basin district consultation documents. There is also the option to comment on a specific river basin district by selecting the one you are interested in.

The consultation is opened until 22nd December 2012.

To view the consultation documents and for information how to respond visit the Environment Agency website:


Standard Rules for the Environmental Permitting Regulations – Consultation No.8
Environment Agency Consultation

(Posted 22 June 2012)

The Agency is seeking views on some new and revised sets of standard rules and generic risk assessments in relation to activities that will become installations under the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and also to some activities that are waste operations and water discharges.

The consultation runs from 12 June 2012 to 04 September 2012.

To view the documents and to respond to the consultation visit the Environment Agency website:



Draft Water Bill published

(Posted 17 August 2012)

Plans to reform the water industry were published in Parliament on 10 July 2012 as the Government seeks to slash red tape, drive innovation and open the market to new companies.  Under the proposals, which have been published for pre-legislative scrutiny, all businesses and public sector bodies in England will be able to switch their water and sewerage suppliers, allowing them to obtain more competitive prices, improve their efficiency and tender for services better suited to meet their individual needs.

For further information and to download the Draft Bill visit the Defra website:


The right reform at the right time – Water UK response to the Draft Water Bill

Water UK, the body representing all the major water and wastewater companies in the UK, has expressed its support for proposals published today in the Draft Water Bill. These proposals pave the way to allowing business customers and those within the public sector to choose their water supplier, as well as opening up the water sector to new companies.



CIWEM welcomes draft Water Bill but calls for more urgency and more innovation in the management of water in a changing climate



NFU response to the draft Water Bill

“Although most of the draft Bill aims to improve competitiveness and efficiency of the water industry, agriculture still retains a keen interest and we will be following its progress during pre-legislative scrutiny very closely. We are glad the government has resisted pressure for the draft Bill to include legislative proposals to reform the abstraction regime.”



MPs to conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Water Bill

(Posted 17 August 2012)

On 16 July 2012 EFRA, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, announced that it would conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Water Bill, which was published on 10 July.  Written evidence is sought on the following:

  • Are the powers contained in the draft Bill sufficient to achieve the policy aims set out in the Water White Paper?
  • Are the draft Bill’s proposals necessary, workable, efficient and clear?
  • Are there any omissions from the draft Bill, for example in relation to managing the financial risk and impact of flooding?

The Committee invites all interested parties to address these and any other aspect of the draft Bill in writing by Friday 14 September.

Further information on the process, and how to provide written evidence, can be found on the Select Committee’s website.


The Canal & River Trust

(Updated 17 August 2012)

As part of its reform of public bodies, the Government has decided to transfer British Waterways’ (BW) network in England and Wales from the public sector into a new charitable trust for the waterways. On 12 July 2012 more than 2,000 miles of historic canals and rivers across England and Wales were handed over to the Canal & River Trust in a move to get communities more involved in their local waterways.

The new charity, whose Patron is the Prince of Wales, will give the 10 million people who visit and love the waterways a greater role in making them cleaner and more beautiful than ever.

The government has agreed to pay about £800m to the Canal and River Trust over the next 15 years.

For details of the Canal & River Trust, including how to visit, volunteer or donate see the Trust’s website:


New Flood Risk Portal

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The LGA, Defra and Environment Agency have recently launched a new Flood Risk portal

With increasing flood risk, there are significant challenges for local authorities in helping communities to achieve sustainable economic growth. This portal is designed to offer background information and guidance on flood risk management to local authority practitioners interested in flood risk management. There is also a useful key document library on the main portal page including key documents from government agencies, the LGA and other organisations.

To visit the new website go to:  (


New Information on health aspects of drought on The HPA Website

(Posted 21 August 2012)

The Extreme Weather Events and Natural Disasters section of the HPA website describes the overall theme of work and includes a factsheet on drought and health with links related to both public and private water supplies.

The 'Health Impacts from Extreme Events Water Shortages Report' (March 2012) was published on the website on 13 July 2012.

For the factsheet and full text of the report visit the HPA website:

The HPA also has a new Extreme Events and Health Protection Section (EEHPS) based in central London.

For further information visit the HPA website:



WaterRF - The Water Research Foundation – a new website

(Posted 17 August 2012)

WaterRF is a large and well-respected US research organization devoted to drinking water research. For 45 years, the Foundation has worked with a variety of professional partners to identify, prioritize, fund, manage, and communicate scientifically sound research across the globe. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that invests research dollars from more than 950 subscribing organizations in the U.S. and abroad to tackle an array of issues related to the treatment and delivery of clean drinking water.

Foundation research projects result in a variety of valuable resources to support the understanding and application of their work. These resources include detailed reports, case studies, newsletters, webcasts, web tools, decision-making guides, reference materials, and much more​? (

The Climate Change Clearinghouse provides numerous resources to water supply utility managers with key information about climate change impacts and how these impacts will affect utility operations. These resources provide water resource managers with the information and tools they need to successfully adapt both their short-term and long-term planning activities to climate change. The WaterRF Climate Change Clearinghouse site was specifically designed to meet the needs of the water utility community. Anticipated users include water utility general managers, water resource planners, forecasters and modellers, maintenance engineers, and utility and public works leadership. Many of the resources available through the Clearinghouse will be helpful for water utility employees engaging in public education and outreach activities.

For further information visit the Clearinghouse website:


River Olympics Finalists Announced
International RiverFoundation

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The International RiverFoundation has announced the finalists of the 2012 Thiess International Riverprize – the environmental equivalent of the Olympics. The finalists are (in no particular order):

  • Willamette River (USA),
  • Prespa Lakes  (Greece), 
  • Okavango River  (Angola, Namibia and Botswana) and
  • Nushagak River  (USA).

The Thiess International Riverprize is awarded annually in recognition of those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river basin management. The winner receives a cash prize, which includes a grant to establish a ‘twinning’ project - facilitating knowledge exchange with another river basin anywhere in the world. This year’s finalists represent a diverse array of projects from different corners of the world.

The overall winner will be announced at the Riverprize Gala Dinner on 9 October 2012, as part of the International Riversymposium in Melbourne.

For a brief insight into each project and for further information visit the International RiverFoundation website:


European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP)
Commission to address water challenges via innovation partnership

(Updated 17 August 2012)

The Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative for an Innovation Union proposed the concept of European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs). DG Environment, in close cooperation with DG Research and Innovation and other DG's, has launched a proposal for a European Innovation Partnership on Water. The EU Member States, through Environment Council Conclusions on June 11th 2012, have endorsed the launch of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water. The partnership will bring together all relevant actors across borders and sectors, such as the water sector, small and medium sized enterprises, the research community, local governments, water-using industries, and the financial sector to accelerate the development and uptake of innovative solutions to water challenges. The EIP on water is expected be fully operational in early 2013 and to start delivering first results within one year.

The kick-off meeting of the Steering Group of the EIP on Water will take place in Brussels on September 4th. The Steering Group consists of high-level experts in the field of innovation and water.

For more information on the EIA visit the DG environment website:



Environment: €268.4 million for 202 new environment projects

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The European Commission has approved funding for 202 new projects under the LIFE+ programme, the European Union's environment fund. The projects cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, climate change and information and communication on environmental issues. They represent a total investment of some €516.5 million, of which the EU will provide €268.4 million. The Commission received 1078 applications from the 27 EU Member States in response to its latest call for proposals, which closed in July 2011. Of these, 202 were selected for co-funding through the programme’s three components:

  • LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity,
  • LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and
  • LIFE+ Information and Communication

Full text of the press release is available on the EUROPA website:


Scotland’s Water Environment Fund
Closing Date Approaches for Next Round of Applications

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The fund, which has contributed to work at both a local and national level, has provided funding to projects across Scotland since 2008 to improve rivers, streams, lochs, wetlands and coastal areas. The next deadline for applications for funding above £10,000 is 20 August 2012. Projects seeking less than £10,000 from the fund can be reviewed at any point during the year and are not subject to an application deadline. Projects should aim to improve the environmental status or condition of a water body by tackling the physical pressures on it.

For further information about the fund and details on how to apply visit the SEPA website:


the ‘TRAP’ Project - Integrated management of river catchments

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The Rivers Trust, together with nine partners from Finland, Latvia, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Greece and Romania, has begun a 3-year project funded under the INTERREG IVC programme. TRAP – Territories of Rivers Action Plans – deals with the challenge of integrated management of rivers and their territories (or catchments). It aims to develop policies and tools to enable sustainable economic growth whilst ensuring good water quality and thereby supporting the aims of the Water Framework Directive. The project also encompasses the European Landscape Convention, addressing the protection of our landscapes including their natural and cultural heritage.

For further information visit the Rivers Trust website:


New website -

(Posted 17 August 2012)

Deculverting, also known as 'daylighting', involves opening up buried watercourses and restoring them back to more natural conditions. As with many other river restoration schemes, the outcomes and objectives of deculverting projects are rarely published. This work is vital and needs to be supported at the national-international levels. To help address this challenge the Catchment Science Centre at the University of Sheffield have established this map-based website where practitioners and researchers working on deculverting projects are encouraged to enter case study information.

For further information visit the new website:


WSKEP eZine - Issue 4 now available online
The Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme (WSKEP)
Published 8 August 2012

(Updated 17 August 2012)

WSKEP is a long-term initiative funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The aim is to accelerate the uptake of research and help inform the direction of future science to ensure sustainable use of our water in the future. For more details see also the key article in our latest FWR Newsletter (see bottom of this page)

Among other news and reports on recent events, the latest issue of the e-Zine includes updates on the WSKEP  programme. Last of the ten WSKEP Workshops planned in Stage 1 was completed on 14th June and Phase 2 begins. The presentations from all the ten workshops and many of the Summary Reports are now available online.

For more details visit the WSKEP website:


STREAM project (Sustainable Technologies and Research for European Aquatic Management)
Stream Newsletter, 5th Issue, July 2012 now online

(Posted 17 August 2012)

STREAM is a EU project funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), DG Research, and Environment. It runs from 01/01/2011 to 31/12/2012. The project aims at raising awareness on the state of the art of water technologies research and at bringing it to the interest of policy makers and potential up-takers through a diversified series of dissemination and communication actions tailored to the needs of the different categories of stakeholders: researchers, policy makers, industry and SMEs.

The July issue gives news from STREAM and news from other projects and there is first announcement of the final joined conference for STREAM and STEP-WISE.

STREAM newsletters are available to download at the project’s website:


Climate Adaption, Water and Security at the International Level:
Overview of European Union and United Nations Initiatives

CLICO Working Papers
Elizabeth Tedsen

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The EU-funded research project "Climate Change, Hydro-conflicts and Human Security" (CLICO) investigates how climate change influences water, human security, and conflicts in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and the Sahel region.

This Working Paper provides an overview of initiatives to address climate change adaptation, water, and climate-related security at the level of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN). Many international level policies and programmes already exist to address these issues within individual sectors. There is an increasing interest, however, in formulating policies that tackle the interlinkages between these themes, although these are still emerging.

For more information on the project and to download the working paper visit the project’s website:



DWI research newsletter
Issue 6, 6 July 2012

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The DWI Research newsletters provide a brief summary of recent outputs of the DWI research programme and the areas under consideration for future research. This issue includes a summary of research reports on:

  • Desk based study of current knowledge on veterinary medicines in drinking water and estimation of potential levels.
  • Targeted monitoring for human pharmaceuticals in vulnerable sources and final waters
  • A review of latest endocrine disrupting chemicals research implications for drinking water.

To download the newsletter visit the DWI website:


EEA Catchments and Rivers Network System – ECRINS v1.1
Technical report No 7/2012

Published by EEA (European Environment Agency), July 18, 2012
ISBN 978-92-9213-254-5

(Posted 17 August 2012)

Europe’s freshwater supplies are under pressure. To improve the understanding and management of water resources, the EEA has created a comprehensive series of map layers showing hydrological features. The tool, providing support to policy makers, spans river catchments from Iceland to the edge of the Persian Gulf. The ECRINS package is a public good, so is available to anyone, including European institutions, national water agencies, scientists, businesses, students and NGOs active in environmental assessments. Users need GIS (Geographic Information System) software to access the map layers

Full text of the news release is available at the EEA website:

To download the report visit the EEA website:


Ecosystems and HUMAn Well-being
A Manual for Assessment Practitioners. Millenium Assessment

Edited by Neville Ash et al
Published by IslandPress (Washington, Covelo, London), 2010, 288 pages

(Posted 17 August 2012)

Designed by a partnership of UN agencies, international scientific organizations, and development agencies, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is, according to the publisher, the most extensive study ever of the linkages between the world’s ecosystems and human well-being.  The manual, which contains numerous case studies of best practice, offers a practical guide for undertaking ecosystem assessments and includes tools and approaches that can assess options for better managing ecosystems.

For more information visit the publisher’s website:

The Manual is available to download at:


Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water Sector
EMWIS Flash, July/August 2012, Issue 102, published

(Posted 17 August 2012)

EMWIS is an initiative of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership. It provides a strategic tool for exchanging information and knowledge in the water sector between and within the Euro Mediterranean partnership countries. The countries involved in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership are:

  • The 27 EU member states
  • The 10 Mediterranean Partner Countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey)

For more information on EMWIS and to download the Flash visit the EMWIS website:


European Centre for River Restoration WWF6 Special

(Posted 17 August 2012)

This newsletter Special is dedicated to the 6th World Water Forum that was held in Marseille from 12 to16 March 2012. ECRR coordinated one of the European regional target sessions: “Water ecosystems protection & restoration”, with specific focus on river restoration. This newsletter presents a lot of information about the content of the session, presentations, main outcome of the discussion rounds and some recommendations.

The newsletter, as well as all presentations, articles and findings of the WWF6 session can be found on the website of ECRR:  (


Ecologic Newsletter No 117, August 2012

(Posted 17 August 2012)

Ecologic Institute is an international think tank for environment and development. The latest issue of their newsletter includes reports on new publications ‘Sustainable Development, Evaluation And Policy-Making - Theory, Practise and Quality Assurance’ and ‘The 3rd Annual report on the RADOST project (Regional adaptation measures for the German Baltic Sea Coast)’ and introduces presentations given by staff of the Ecologic Institute with links for downloads ‘Assessment of the Potential of Ecosystem-based Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation’ and ‘Mitigation in Europe Freshwater Impacts of Proposed Biofuel Policy in Germany’.

The newsletter is available for download at the Ecologic website:


The Rivers Trust
August e-Newsletter, No. 23,  Published

(Posted 17 August 2012)

The “Association of River Trusts” for England and Wales was launched in 2001 following extensive consultation with existing charitable rivers trusts and other related interests.

The organisation changed its name to "The Rivers Trust" on 2nd August 2011.

'Towards a Living North Sea’ – will be the theme of this year’s Rivers Trust Autumn Conference & Awards Dinner and will be the final event of the Living North Sea Project.

The conference is to be hosted by Tyne Rivers Trust and the rivers trusts of the North-East, and will be held on the 14th-16th November 2012, in Newcastle upon Tyne. The event will report on much of the work of the Living North Sea project, including:

  • The River Tyne catchment pilot
  • Removal of large dams and in-river structures
  • Community-led solutions to fish migration barriers
  • Innovative solutions to fish migration for the North Sea Region
  • Eel, lamprey, coarse fish and salmonids.
  • Managing sea trout across the North Sea region & sea trout genetics

The newsletter is available on the Rivers Trust website:



Workshop on synergies and differences between MSFD and WFD
How to facilitate their implementation?

18 and 19 June 2012, Paris, France

(Posted 17 August 2012)

This workshop aimed to help to highlight the synergies and the differences between the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Identification of these synergies could help in the implementation of both directives, by using the common points to facilitate the enforcement of the two pieces of legislation in topics such as governance, public consultation, monitoring network, reporting, and ecological status. At the same time, the identification of differences between WFD and MSFD is also important in order to highlight the potential need for clarification and to facilitate streamlining of both directives in terms of calendars, definition of good status, communication on the results.

Programme of the workshop, the presentations and other relevant documents are available on the CIRCA Europa website:


Defra Water Stakeholder Forum

(Posted 17 August 2012)

This was the last meeting of the Forum chaired by Chris Ryder, Head of Water Quality in Defra. (Chris Ryder is in the centre of the picture with his deputy Richard Cole on the left and David Baxter, Head of Catchment Management at the Environment Agency (EA) on the right.) Chris has chaired this very popular Forum since it’s beginning in 2005. Apart from the regular extensive updates by Defra and by the EA the presentations included the following topics of interest:
  • SWMIs (Significant Water Management Issues
  • Abstraction Reform
  • PES - Payment for Ecosystem Services
  • Draft Water Bill
  • Droughts

More details and photos are in the summer issue of our FWR Newsletter (see the bottom of these Highlights).

The presentations and other documents from the Forum are available to download from our website:


River restoration workshops follow-up

(Posted 17 August 2012)

In May 2012, JBA Trust and the University of Gloucestershire hosted a 2 day workshop to facilitate an exchange of information and experiences stemming from the current river restoration attempts, aiming to ensure that individual lessons learned are shared across the wider community concerned with restoring our rivers. The workshop sessions debated four issues:

  • Dealing with barriers
  • River naturalization
  • Urban restoration
  • Rivers and floodplains restoration

Summary documents, one for each of the four workshops, are now available for comments on the JBA Trust website:


The 3rd European Water Conference
24 – 25 May 2012, Brussels

(Update 15 August 2012)

The conference was organised by DG Environment of the European Commission.  The event was integrated in the Green Week 2012. The conference served as a platform for consultation and debate between different stakeholders, Member States and the European Commission on the Blueprint policy options and on the accompanying impact assessment.

The conference targeted approximately 400 participants and participation was based on invitation only.

Recordings of the event are available on the conference’s website:

Background documents, including ANNEX A on Preliminary assessment River Basin Management Plans, Annex B on Draft Gap analysis of the Water Scarcity and Droughts strategy, conference summary report and key messages of the conference are now available on the conference’s website: