INDEX

CONSULTATIONS

UK NEWS        

INTERNATIONAL NEWS      

PROJECTS

PUBLICATIONS

EVENTS

 

ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

 

CONSULTATIONS

The Contribution of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in England and Wales

Joint Drinking Water Inspectorate/Environment Agency Draft Guidance

(Posted 15 July 2011)

This document is intended as a reference point for water undertakers, licensed water suppliers1 and Environment Agency staff to clarify where the requirements of the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations complement and support the implementation of the WFD and provides guidance on practical steps that can be taken by undertakers/licensed suppliers and Environment Agency staff to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to identify and plan measures in catchments that ensure the long-term safety of drinking water supplies. Specifically this document is intended to clarify responsibilities for raw water monitoring and serve as the basis for enhanced local liaison between Water Company staff and local Environment Agency representatives.

Comments on the draft guidance should be sent by 22 July 2011 to the following email address:
dwi.enquiries@defra.gsi.gov.uk

The draft guidance document is available on the DWI website:
(http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/stakeholders/guidance-and-codes-of-practice/wfd-cons.pdf)

 

Flooding in Scotland: a consultation on Potentially Vulnerable Areas and Local Plan Districts

Scottish Environment Protection Agency Consultation

(Posted 15 July 2011)

This SEPA consultation seeks views on how the National Flood Risk Assessment identifies areas for flood risk management planning. For the first time in Scotland, the National Flood Risk Assessment has taken place, which provides an accurate picture of flooding impacts across Scotland.  The new national assessment has considered all sources of flooding to identify the areas most vulnerable.  The National Flood Risk Assessment has identified that in Scotland one in 20 homes and one in 14 businesses are at risk of flooding. Responses to the consultation will help SEPA to identify those areas in Scotland where public bodies should focus their efforts.

The consultation will be open until 15 August 2011.

To download the consultation document and for further information visit the SEPA website:
(http://www.sepa.org.uk/flooding/flood_risk_management/consultations/flooding_in_scotland.aspx)

 

Better Environmental Regulation: SEPA’s Change proposals

Response to SEPA Consultation

(Posted 15 July 2011)

In December 2010, SEPA launched the consultation setting out its proposals for a new, simpler and more effective way forward for environmental regulation in Scotland. The consultation closed in February 2011 and generated significant interest from a wide range of stakeholders. Comments were generally very positive and supportive and this has led respondents to ask for more detail of the proposals and to be involved in taking them forward. There was a high level of support for the main principles in the consultation. SEPA will now work with respondents and others on the details of the proposed changes, how these will work in practice, and the funding model that will support them.=

The document summarising the findings is available on the SEPA website:
(http://www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/consultations/closed_consultations.aspx)

 

UK NEWS       

Review of Ofwat published

(Posted 15 July 2011)

On 6 July 2011 Defra published its review of Ofwat, assessing whether the economic regulator for the water sector is fit for future challenges. The review, led independently by David Gray, was launched by the UK Government and Welsh Government in August 2010. The review looked at Ofwat’s role, how it works with others and if its regulatory approach is delivering what the Government and customers expect. The review also considered the arrangements for representing customers in the water sector, currently undertaken by the Consumer Council for Water.

The main conclusions are that regulation in the water sector has worked well since privatisation and that major change is not needed to the statutory framework or regulatory landscape; but that to achieve continued success, Ofwat needs to see through the changes it has embarked on to reduce the burden of regulation it imposes on the water industry and work constructively with the other organisations in the sector. The review team also recommended to the UK and Welsh Governments, that the functions the Consumer Council for Water carries out in protecting water customers be retained preferably within CCWater.

UK Ministers will respond to the Review’s recommendations in the Water White Paper to be published later this year.

Full text of the press release is available on the Defra website:
(http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/07/06/review-of-ofwat-published/)

To view the Review visit the Defra website:
(http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/water/industry/)

 

Where is our river wildlife?

Our Rivers public survey

(Posted 15 July 2011)

A major new public survey was launched July 11 to collect information about the wildlife people in England and Wales encounter on their local river. The online survey will help paint a picture of the state of British rivers. This year, the Our Rivers coalition is trying to find out what people get up to on their local river, what wildlife they see there and how has it changed in our lifetime? The survey results will be used in the second annual awards from the Our Rivers campaign, led by WWF-UK, RSPB, the Angling Trust and the Salmon and Trout Association. The awards will include the best rivers for spotting wildlife and the county whose rivers are most treasured by local people.

For further information and to take part in the survey visit the Our River website:
(http://www.ourrivers.org.uk/)

 

The Natural Environment White Paper has been published:

‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’

(Posted 15 June 2011)

This is the first White Paper on the natural environment in 20 years, outlining the Government’s vision for the natural environment over the next 50 years, backed up with practical action to deliver that ambition. The proposals set out a detailed programme of action to repair damage done to the environment in the past, and urges everyone to get involved in helping nature to flourish at all levels – from neighbourhoods to national parks.

The plans are contained in the White Paper are directly linked to the groundbreaking research in the National Ecosystem Assessment published recently (see below) that showed the strong economic arguments for safeguarding and enhancing the natural environment.

For further information and to download the White Paper visit the Defra website:
(http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/natural/whitepaper/)

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS     

Quality of bathing water in the EU- 2010 bathing season

(Posted 15 July 2011)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission, assessing bathing water quality at more than 21 000 bathing sites in all 27 EU Member States in 2010, prepared this year’s report. The assessments give an indication to where the best quality bathing is likely to be found this year.

More than nine out of 10 bathing waters met the minimum water quality standards in 2010, with 92.1 % of coastal and 90.2 % of inland bathing water bodies meeting these requirements. Only 1.2 % of coastal bathing waters and 2.8 % of inland bathing waters were found to be non-compliant. Nonetheless, bathing water quality has deteriorated since the previous year.

In addition to an overall assessment, the report also points at online tools including geospatial mapping programmes, which allow users to access data for a selected country or region and make comparisons with previous years. Some of these tools also allow for instant feedback from users, helping beachgoers get a more complete view of the bathing site in question.

The report and the interactive maps and data are available on the EEA website:
(http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/water/status-and-monitoring/state-of-bathing-water-1)

 

PROJECTS

Hydropower Generation in the context of the EU WFD

DG Environment Project No 11418

(Posted 15 July 2011)

A document has been prepared by consultants ARCADIS and Ingenieurb├╝ro Floecksm├╝hle for a Workshop on WFD and Hydropower to be held in Brussels on 13-14 September 2011. (http://www.ecologic-events.de/hydropower2/index.htm). This study (168 pages) aims to improve the understanding of both environmental concerns, given by the Water Framework Directive, and the development of hydropower, encouraged by the Renewable Energy Directive, and the possible approaches for a coordinated implementation of both this water protection policy and energy policy.

The document is available for download on the CIRCA website:
(http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/env/wfd/library?l=/framework_directive/implementation_conventio/hydropower_september&vm=detailed&sb=Title)

 

Thames21 - Volunteering Opportunities in 2011

(Posted 15 July 2011)

Thames21 is an environmental charity working with communities to bring London's waterways to life. Thames21 mobilise thousands of volunteers every year to clean up waterside grot-spots, remove graffiti and create new habitats for wildlife.

The calendar of activities for the next three months is now available on the Thames21 website:
(http://www.thames21.org.uk/events.html)

 

FP7 - 'Orientation Papers 2012' are published

EC has published the Work Programmes for the 'Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology' and 'Environment (including climate change)' Themes

(Posted 15 July 2011)

The 2011 calls have now closed and the European Commission has now published orientation papers containing the draft 2012 environment work programme. The papers, which are still to be adopted, include all the proposed topics with full descriptions, expected impacts and additional eligibility criteria for the “Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology” and the “Environment (including climate change)” themes. The primary aim of funding the 'Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology' research theme under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is to build a European Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE). UK launch of the FP7 2012 Work Programmes for the two themes is taking place on 14 July 2011 in London (see below).

For further information and updates visit the Beta technology website: (http://www.betaeurope.co.uk/news.htm

 

URSULA – urban river corridors and sustainable living agendas

A Seminar Series from Autumn 2010 to Autumn 2011

(Updated 15 July 2011)

The research addresses the hypothesis that there are significant social, economic and environmental gains to be made by integrated and innovative interventions in urban river corridors. The project URSULA tackles river corridor issues holistically by treating the river and its urban setting as a system. Over 4 years the project will produce innovations, tools and knowledge to help guide the regeneration of urban river corridors worldwide.

The seminars take place monthly, usually on Wednesday at the University of Sheffield. Each talk is open to members of the public as well as University students and staff.

The tenth presentation in the URSULA seminar series was to be presented on 28 July 2011 by Bob Watson, Chief Scientist at Defra on the use of the ecosystem services concept in decision-making. Unfortunately, this seminar has had to be cancelled.

An article by Dr Sue Hornby ‘Developing sustainable urban corridors’ was uploaded on the project website on 4 Jul 2011. Dr Hornby explains how the URSULA project is demonstrating the social, economic and environmental gains to be made by integrated and innovative (re-)development in urban river corridors.

For further details visit the project’s website: (http://www.ursula.ac.uk/)

 

PUBLICATIONS

Drinking Water 2010

A report by the Chief Inspector of drinking water

(Posted 15 July 2011)

The annual report on drinking water quality in England and Wales was published by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) on 7 July 2011.  The report provides an overview of the quality of public and private water supplies in England and Wales. Drinking water 2010 is published as a series of nine reports, two describe private water supplies in England and Wales and seven cover public water supplies.

In 2004, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published the water safety plan approach as the most effective means of securing a sufficient supply of safe, clean drinking water for all. In 2005, the Inspectorate adopted the water safety plan approach as its strategic policy for developing the regulatory regime for drinking water first introduced by Parliament in England and Wales in 1990. In 2007, the drinking water regulations in England and Wales were amended to formally embed this risk-based approach into the legal framework.

The reports on private water supplies are the first of their type and present data derived from records of private water supplies held by local authorities.

Letters from the Chief Inspector to the Ministers in England and in Wales contain a high level overview of findings for the year.

The reports, the letters to the Ministers and other relevant information are available on the DWI website:
(http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/about/annual-report/2010/index.htm)

 

Safe water and healthy water services in a changing environment

EEA (European Environment Agency) Technical report No 7/2011

ISBN: 978-92-9213-213-2, published 05 July 2011

(Posted 15 July 2011)

This report summarises existing knowledge of climate change impacts on water services and health; the nature and effectiveness of the policy response; and the coverage and gaps in existing assessments of these themes.

To download the report visit the EEA website: (http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/safe-water-and-healthy-water)

 

WHO Drinking water quality guidelines, Fourth edition

World Health Organisation, July 2011, 564 pages, ISBN-13    9789241548151

(Posted 15 July 2011)

The latest drinking-water guidelines were launched at the Singapore International Water Week on 4 July 2011. These Guidelines are the product of systematic revisions over more than five years of extensive consultation with hundreds of experts. This 4th edition expands on key concepts like health-based targets and water safety planning; presents new risk assessments on microbial, chemical and radiological hazards, and addresses emerging issues of public concern like pharmaceuticals in drinking-water.

For further details visit the WHO website:
(http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/events/singapore2011/en/index.html)

 

pharmaceuticals in drinking water

World Health Organisation, reference number: WHO/HSE/WSH11.05, June 2011, 49 pages

(Posted 15 July 2011)

This technical report aims to provide practical guidance and recommendations in managing concerns over pharmaceuticals in drinking water, taking into consideration the available scientific knowledge and evidence. It emphasizes the importance to prioritize this emerging issue in the overall context of water safety management, which includes microbial and other chemical risks that may threaten the safety of drinking water.

For further details visit the WHO website:

(http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/2011/pharmaceuticals/en/index.html)

 

Environment Agency documents in support of implementing the first river basin management plans:

  • Guidance Note: Levels of evidence for completing investigations and selecting measures, v23.05.2011
  • Water Framework Directive: Reducing uncertainty in classification, Progress report, June 2011

(Posted 15 July 2011)

In March 2011 Defra circulated their Statement of Position ‘Updating River Basin Planning Guidance’. To meet the commitments listed in the statement, the Environment Agency has produced the two above documents:

  • A guidance note, which sets out guidance on how certain we need to be about classification and reasons for failure in order to justify different actions.  This guidance will continue to develop over time and will be supported, as required, by more detailed technical guidance on specific topics such as evidence for specific elements of classification e.g. nutrients.
  • A report providing a profile of how we expect uncertainty of classification to reduce over time, progress to date on reducing uncertainty of classification, charts showing our improving information on reasons for failure and a list of water bodies where additional monitoring is required to increase certainty of classification.

The two documents, as well as the Defra’s Statement of Position, are available for download from the Defra Water Stakeholder Forum documents Table on our website: (http://www.euwfd.com/html/england_and_the_wfd.html)

 

EVENTS

Surface Water Management

The Developing Picture and Key Lessons

14 June 2011, London

(Posted 15 July 2011)

The aim of this CIWEM-CMS conference was to focus on surface water management and the key issues, legislation, implementation and the need for change, funding and the role of water companies, planning, implementation and SUDS.

Outputs from the conference are available on the CIWEM website: (http://www.ciwem.org/events/conference-outputs.aspx)

 

Marine Environmental Programmes - Cross Cutting
Issues and Decision Making

CMS Conference, 07 June 2011, London

(Posted 15 July 2011)

There are at least 6 major programmes of policy work and implementation underway at present, including CFP Reform, MSFD, Marine Planning, Marine Licencing, MCZ implementation and Round 3 Offshore wind development as well as many routine projects. These are increasing the complexity of management and all are set in a context of reduced funding. The aim of this conference was to identify and understand the key issues of concern that cut across many of the major programmes of work, learn from recent practice and see whether these issues can be resolved and taken forward.

Presentations and documents from the conference are available on the CMS website:
(http://www.coastms.co.uk/conferences/445)

 

WORKSHOP ON METAL BIOAVAILABILITY UNDER THE WATER FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE: POLICY, SCIENCE AND IMPLEMENTATION OF REGULATORY TOOLS

21 June 2011, Brussels, Belgium

(Posted 15 July 2011)

This one-day workshop, the first of its kind, provided experts from Member States regulatory agencies with an opportunity to review the current state of knowledge on implementing bioavailability-based approaches for metals under the Water Framework Directive. Through the day, practical demonstrations and lessons from those MS that have trialled this approach were given and Member States posed questions and sought clarifications. Most importantly, all participants were provided with a User-friendly Biotic Ligand Model and charged with assessing the practicality of the methods using their own data and national approaches.

The conclusions from the workshop were that bioavailability needs to be accounted for in a regulatory context as it provides the most accurate, scientifically robust assessment of potential risks for metals such as copper, nickel, manganese and zinc. The approach can also be used to identify and prioritise sites, and for classification and communication purposes the method allows for only one EQSbioavailable.

Documents from the workshop are available on the CIRCA website:
(http://circa.europa.eu/Public/irc/env/wfd/library?l=/framework_directive/implementation_conventio&vm=detailed&sb=Title)

 

Strengthen collaboration in research and
innovation for a “water efficient Europe”

WssTP 4th Stakeholders’ Event

17 – 18 May 2011, Brussels, Belgium

The event was organised by WssTP, the European Water Platform. The aim of the meeting was to identify key drivers and actions to boost the competitiveness and innovation potential of the water sector.

Presentations and documents from the meeting are available on the WssTP website.
(http://www.wsstp.eu/content/default.asp?PageId=882&LanguageId=0)