UK NEWS        





  • CCN Annual Conference 2011 - Guidelines for good practice as a way of encouraging stakeholder involvement across catchment management





New Lords inquiry into EU Freshwater Policy

(Posted 12 August 2011)

On 19 July 2011 the House of Lords EU Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment Committee invited contributions to its new inquiry into EU Freshwater Policy. The European Commission plans to publish a “Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water” towards the end of 2012, which aims to evaluate the EU’s current freshwater policies and identify any gaps and to identify any measures and tools that could help ensure a sustainable, good quality water supply in the long-term.

The Committee has launched its inquiry in order to provide a substantive input to the discussions in 2012 which will lead up to the Blueprint. The Committee will examine a range of questions including the following.

  • How relevant and useful do you think the current policy framework is?
  • What challenges should be addressed by EU freshwater policy to ensure the sustainable use of good quality water in the longer term?
  • How can other EU policy areas – most notably the Common Agricultural Policy – be adapted to help manage Europe’s sustainable freshwater supplies?
  • What aspects of EU policy are best managed by Member States or regionally, rather than at a EU level?
  • What should the EU do to promote innovative responses to the demands of water management?

The Committee is seeking evidence from interested parties on a range of issues. The deadline for written evidence is 5 September 2011.

For further information, including details how to submit evidence, visit the Parliament website:


Review of the Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines

Environment Agency Consultation

(Posted 12 August 2011)

In August 2009 the Environment Agency published the Hydropower Good Practice Guidelines, providing advice and technical guidance for designers and developers of hydropower schemes. You can read the existing guidelines at

The Agency is now reviewing the guidance to reflect operational experience from their permitting of applications for hydropower schemes, which have increased significantly since publication of the first edition of the guidelines. They also intend to extend the guidance to cover both high and low head hydropower schemes.

The consultation is opened from 1 July to 23 September 2011.

To view the documents and to take part in the consultation within the Environment Agency website:


Draft National Planning Policy Framework

Communities and Local Government Consultation

(Posted 12 August 2011)

On 25 July 2011 the Government have published the draft National Planning Policy Framework for consultation. This is a part of their reforms aiming to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth. The Government expects the planning system to deliver the homes, business and industrial units, infrastructure and thriving local places that the country needs, while protecting and enhancing the natural and historic environment. To deliver this, planning must be transparent, effective and efficient and it must ensure the public interest is protected. This should be achieved through a system based on:

  • National policies, which set out the Government’s requirements for the planning system and how these are expected to be addressed
  • Local and neighbourhood plans, which empower local people to shape their surroundings;
  • Development management, which allows planning applications to be considered on their merits, within this national and local policy framework

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government’s economic, environmental and social planning policies for England. This Framework does not contain specific waste policies, since national waste planning policy will be published alongside the National Waste Management Plan for England1.

Four planning reform events will be held during September. This consultation will close on 17 October 2011.

The consultation draft as well as a link to the associated draft Impact Assessment, and a link to the consultation document, which explains how you can send your comments, are available on the Communities and Local Government website:


UK NEWS       

Catchment based approach for a healthier water environment

New Environment Agency website

(Posted 12 August 2011)

In March 2011 the Environment Minister Richard Benyon launched the catchment management approach for river basin management for England and Wales. There are one hundred catchments - areas with several, often interconnected, water bodies (rivers, lakes, ground water and coastal waters). Many of the problems facing our water environments are best understood, and tackled, at a catchment level. The Environment Agency has now set up a new website to engage with delivery partners at a catchment level in a way that encourages greater local participation.

In England, the Agency is hosting pilots to trial improved ways of engaging with local organisations in ten catchments, and would like others to get involved. They are also encouraging other organisations to host catchment pilots outside of these ten, with their support.

For further information visit the new Environment Agency website:


CEH Information Gateway (CIG) links up with the National Biodiversity Network (NBN)

(Posted 12 August 2011)

The CEH Information Gateway (CIG) is a web portal that provides researchers and the wider public with quick, easy and direct access to a diverse range of environmental data.

The latest upgrade to the CIG allows users to run searches using other metadata catalogues, including the 65 million species records held on the NBN Gateway.  This means users can now find species records and environmental information from a single source.

For further information visit the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology website:



European Commission – General Directorate Environment

Support to Fitness Check Water Policy

(Posted 12 August 2011)

The European Commission is currently conducting a so-called ‘Fitness Check’ of EU Water Policy. It will assess the effectiveness of existing laws and identify possible gaps or inconsistencies that need to be addressed in next year’s ‘Blueprint to safeguard EU waters’.

Deloitte and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) have drafted a report to support the Commission in the first scoping phase of the Fitness Check. The report assesses the relevance, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of EU Water Policy and identifies particular achievements and shortcomings. The study was based on a literature review and a stakeholder consultation, including a workshop organised in Brussels on 10 May 201.

The report suggests that the policy laid out in the Water Framework Directive is robust and largely coherent with other EU environmental laws. However, implementation remains challenging and makes the achievements of the 2015 targets uncertain. The EU needs to step up action on policy integration, particularly with regard to using water in agriculture and buildings more efficiently. Member States have made only sluggish progress with introducing economic instruments such as water pricing, while the principle of cost-recovery remains controversial.

For more information and to download the report visit the IEEP website:


Water quality and wastewater treatment — WISE interactive maps updated

(Posted 12 August 2011)

On 25 July 2011 the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a series of maps on water quality, updated with the latest information reported by countries. The maps display water quality parameters in various receiving waters across Europe, alongside information on urban wastewater treatment and receiving areas sensitive to eutrophication. The updated maps are useful for water professionals who require a European overview of water issues, or anyone with an interest in the environmental issues affecting their local river, lake or sea. Four data viewers have been updated: transitional, coastal and marine waters (TCM), rivers and lakes, groundwaters and urban waste water.

For further information visit the EEA website:



Water Research in Europe - IWRM-Net SCP Project

(Posted 12 August 2011)

Following a call in late 2009 6 projects have been financed along with the IWRM-Net Scientific Coordination Project, which aims to ensure continued support of the research projects in both administrative and scientific terms:

  • IMPACT - Developing an integrated model to predict abiotic habitat conditions and biota of rivers for application in climate change research and water management. (Germany, Portugal, France)
  • ICARUS - Integrated Water Resources Management for climate change adaptation in rural social ecosystems Southern Europe (Italy, Portugal, Spain)
  • CLIMAWARE - Impacts of climate change on water resources management – regional strategies and European view. (Germany, France, Italy)
  • ESAWADI - Utilising the Ecosystem Services Approach for Water Framework Directive Implementation (France, Germany, Portugal)
  • Water Cap and Trade - Water Market scenarios for Southern Europe: new solutions for dealing with water scarcity and drought risk. (France, Italy, Spain)
  • Water2Adapt - Resilience enhancement and water demand management for climate change adaptation. (Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal)

This work will be facilitated by the International Office for Water (IOW).

Issue 1 of the IWRM-net SCP ‘European Water Community News’, July 2011 gives a summary of each of the projects.

For further details on the project and other European IWRM activities visit the IWRM-Net SCP website:


Commission to provide €244 million for
183 new LIFE+ projects

(Posted 12 August 2011)

On 19 July 2011 The European Commission has approved funding for 183 new projects under the fourth call for the LIFE+ programme (2007-2013). The projects are from across the EU and cover actions in the fields of nature conservation, environmental policy, and information and communication. Overall, they represent a total investment of €530 million, of which the EU will provide €244million.

Full text of the press release and more details on the new projects are available on the Europa website:


ORSAM Water Research Programme

(Posted 12 August 2011)

ORSAM Water Research Programme was established within ORSAM, the Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies, on 1 January 2011. The programme aims to present findings of current developments on water issues in Turkey and its neighbours as well as worldwide, to decision-makers and general public. As a candidate EU country Turkey is, in principle, obliged to get in line with the Water Framework Directive in time of membership. For this purpose, efforts of Turkey have gained momentum particularly after 2003. The report ‘EU’s Water Framework Directive Implementation in Turkey: The Draft National Implementation Plan’ (OSRAM Water Research Programme Report 1) has been published, which discusses one of the outputs of these efforts, namely the Draft National Implementation Plan in light of the specific WFD requirements.

Further information on the implementation of the WFD in Turkey and on water and water management in Turkey and the Middle East are available on Orsam website:  (



The European Nitrogen Assessment, ENA

Sources, Effects and Policy Perspectives

Edited by Sutton, M. A., et al

Cambridge Press, 2011, 664 pages, ISBN: 9781107006126

 (Posted 12 August 2011)

ENA, the major outcome of the NinE programme, jointly with the COST Action 729 and the NitroEurope IP, was be publicly launched during the 'Nitrogen and Global Change' Conference, organised in Edinburgh (UK) from 11-14 April, 2011.

The ENA reviews current scientific understanding on the benefits of reactive nitrogen use and the threats of nitrogen pollution in Europe and beyond, including negative impacts on human health, climate and biodiversity, water, soil and air quality, identifies the geographical areas at greatest risk of damage by nitrogen pollution, and provides options for improved nitrogen management in the future.

All the book chapters, as well as supplementary material to the chapters, can be downloaded from the project’s website:


Hazardous substances in Europe's fresh and marine waters.  An overview

European Environment Agency Technical report No 8/2011

ISBN 978-92-9213-214-9, July 2011, 61 pages

(Posted 12 August 2011)

Hazardous substances are emitted to fresh and marine waters via a number of pathways and can have detrimental effects on aquatic biota. Humans can be exposed to hazardous substances in water through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water and the consumption of contaminated freshwater fish and seafood. A wide range of legislation now exists in Europe to address the release of hazardous substances to the environment, including water. New challenges exist, however, including the issues of chemical mixtures and emerging pollutants. This report aims to:

  • Document the sources, pathways, emissions and discharges of selected hazardous substances to Europe's fresh and marine waters
  • Provide an overview of the current status of, and recent trends in, chemical pollution of Europe's fresh and marine waters using information from a variety of sources, including reporting under the WFD, the EEA's Eionet-Water database and monitoring programmes conducted by the JRC and regional sea conventions
  • Describe some of the impacts that hazardous substances can have upon aquatic biota and outline the potential for human exposure to these substances via water
  • Outline key European policy and legislation that addresses the use of hazardous substances and their release to water
  • Highlight selected measures to reduce the emissions of hazardous substances to water
  • Present tools and innovative approaches to assess the sources, levels and effects of hazardous substances, including chemical mixtures
  • Provide a supporting background document for the various chemicals-related parts of the EEA's forthcoming 2012 'State of Europe's water' reporting, to be undertaken in conjunction with the European Commission

The report is available for download at the EEA website:


National Hydrological Monitoring Programme (NHMP)

(Posted 12 August 2011)

The National Environment Council reported in its July Newsletter ‘Using NERC Science’ ( an unprecedented interest from stakeholders in the monthly Hydrological summaries published during the first half of 2011 (freely available from the CEH website). The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) jointly operates the NHMP in conjunction with the British Geological Survey. NHMP scientists produce the UK Monthly Hydrological Summary, which assesses rainfall, river flows, groundwater and reservoir levels. They also operate the National River Flow archive.

For further information visit the CEH website: (


Engineering Nature’s Way

A new website

(Posted 12 August 2011)

This site, set up by Hydro International, is a new resource for people working with sustainable drainage and flood management in the UK. This site provides an opportunity to share news, opinion, information and best practice for people working in local and central Government, developers, consulting engineers and contractors.

To read more visit the website: (


Climate change, water and food security

FAO Water Report 36, Rome 2011

Hugh Turral, Jacob Burke and Jean-Marc Faurès

(Posted 12 August 2011)

This report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) summarises current knowledge of the anticipated impacts of climate change on water availability for agriculture and examines the implications for local and national food security. It analyses expected impact of climate change on a set of major agricultural systems at risk and makes the case for immediate implementation of ‘no-regrets’ strategies which have both positive development outcomes and make agricultural systems resilient. It is hoped that policy makers and planners can use this report to frame their adaptation responses when considering both the water variable in agriculture and the competing demands from other users.

To download the report visit the FAO website: (



CCN Annual Conference 2011

Guidelines for Good Practice as a Way of Encouraging Stakeholder Involvement across Catchment Management

5 July 2011, Arup Campus, Solihull

(Posted 12 August 2011)

The Catchment Change Network (CCN) is a NERC-funded Knowledge Transfer Network that brings together university scientists with a broad interest in catchment management along with a wide range of practitioners to consider the assessment of future change in catchment systems. Looking forward, catchment management will need to rely more heavily on multi-stakeholder collaboration and communication for success. The second CCN Annual Conference was designed to examine how Guidelines could represent a useful tool to encourage stakeholder participation across catchments.

Presentations from the conference are available on the CCN website: