Protecting and Improving Water
Better regulation and a great deal of investment has helped to clean up the UK’s rivers and beaches over the past 25 years.
The legacy of the industrial revolution and municipal neglect has been reversed, but there is still a great deal more to do. As the quality of point source discharges have improved, so the insidious, cumulative impact of diffuse pollution from agricultural land and urban areas has become more apparent. The re-introduction of the catchment-based approach to tackle problems in an integrated, systems way is a big step forward, but sustaining the momentum, the funding and the partnerships will be an uphill struggle.
- Developed the approach to delivering the Water Framework Directive across England and Wales, translating its river basin scale into one more suited to the size of UK river catchments and their challenges
- Drove the improvements in bathing water quality and the investment needed to provide safe water quality and meet higher standards
- Developed and implemented the first ever comprehensive, catchment-scale assessment of water resources across England and Wales, established the basis for variable flow regimes to protect the aquatic environment, and introduced principles for sustainable water allocation
- Developed an integrated approach between land and water management, and the basis for agricultural good practice to be rewarded where it addresses water quality failures