Thames River Basin - Water Framework Directive

The Water Framework Directive is a European Union Directive designed to protect and improve the environmental condition of all waters, including rivers, lakes, groundwater, estuaries and coastal water to one nautical mile. It also encourages the water environment to be managed in a consistent way throughout the European Union.

The Water Framework Directive is implemented through river basin planning, which involves setting environmental objectives for all groundwater and surface water bodies (including estuaries and coastal waters) within a river basin district, and then devising a programme of measures to meet those objectives.

Thames River Basin Management Plan: Have your Say
The DEF Water Group was represented at the Environment Agency event on 30 January, 2009 with regard to the Consultation which was launched on 22 December 2008 seeking responses within six months. The finalised River Basin Management Plan will be published in December 2009.

Water Framework Directive Response - background information
The Environment Agency has organised various Working Parties to consider the issues within the document and the Dacorum Environmental Forum Water Group was represented at three of these.
1. The Fielder Centre, Hatfield, 14th July 2008
2. Common Ground Workshop (Agricultural), Tower Hill, London, 12th March 2009
3. Environmental Workshop, DEFRA Innovation Centre, Reading, 2nd April 2009

Notes from these meetings have been provided and are available below for information. Please remember that responses to the Water Framework Directive are required by the 22nd June.

1. The Fielder Centre, Hatfield, 14th July,2008
This was an excellent workshop looking at the key issues facing the water environment in our area and how we can all work to improve them. Several presentations were given by senior Environmental Agency officers on such subjects as The Water Framework Directive and River Basin Planning, Water management issues together with River restoration .
The Fielder Centre, Improving the WFD water environment workshop, 14th July 2008(PDF)

2. Common Ground Workshop, Tower Hill, London, 12th March 2009
This workshop was one of a series run across the country and focussed upon the agricultural community. Once the EA have collated all the reports from all the regions, they will circulate a cross-cutting report to give everyone a sense of the overall response. The EA will then review all of this input and come back to everyone to let us know what they are going to do as a result of the feedback.
Common Ground Workshop, Tower Hill, London, 12th March 2009(DOC)

3. Environmental Workshop, DEFRA Innovation Centre, Reading, 2nd April 2009
This workshop provided a detailed recognition of the key concerns within the Directive and River Basin Plans. Habitat enhancement and fish passage issues received a great deal of attention, particularly biodiversity and management of non-native species. Tackling diffuse pollution received a great deal of attention during the afternoon session.
Event Report - Environmental Workshop, DEFRA Innovation Centre, Reading, 2nd April 2009(DOC)
Summary Points - Environmental Workshop, DEFRA Innovation Centre, Reading, 2nd April 2009(DOC)

For more details please see the following documents and links:
Accessing the Draft WFD River Basin Management Plan(PDF)
Thames WFD Newsletter Jan 09(PDF)
Full River Basin Management Plans consultation.
Thames River Basin district.

The DEFWG response to the Water Framework Directive was sent to The Environment Agency on 20th June 2009. The documents that form the reponse can be seen by clicking on these links:
Formal Response Letter(DOC)
Response Document(DOC)
Terms of Reference(DOC)

Author: Roger Hands, 2009