The Environment Agency has launched a major new consultation on the proposed work programme, timetable and process for working together to review and update the river basin management plans in 2021.

Working Together is the first consultation in the process which sets out the steps and consultation measures to be taken, the proposed timetable and how other stakeholders can get involved in preparing the updated plans. The Environment Agency is responsible for the review and update of the river basin management plans (RBMPs) for the 6 river basin districts that fall entirely within England; Anglian, Humber, North West, South East, South West, and Thames. The Agency also leads on the review and update of the RBMPs for the Severn and Northumbria river basin districts which lie partly in Wales and Scotland respectively.

The consultation is seeking views on how the Agency should take other plans and strategies linked to the plans into account in the review and update. Water companies’ business plans and strategies are among a number of plans flagged up as particularly important by the Environment Agency for alignment with the RBMPs to promote an integrated approach to managing the water environment.

The Agency said measures set out in the water companies’ water resource management plans due to be published in 2019 will play an important part in helping it to achieve the environmental objectives in river basin management plans. It also highlighted the environmental measures that companies need to include in their business plans under the Water Industry National Environment Programme which represents the largest investment in the water environment made by any sector.

The Working Together consultation is seeking views on:

  • how other plans and strategies affect, or are affected by, the river basin management plans
  • the proposed timetable and content of the work programme to review and update the river basin management plans
  • whether all relevant stakeholders have been identified
  • how people can get involved in the review and update of the river basin management plans

Natural Resources Wales will lead on the review and update of the plan for the Dee river basin district. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency will lead on the review and update of the plan for the Solway Tweed river basin district.

Commenting on the implications of EU Exit for river basin management plans, the EA said it will complete the review and update to the plans in 2021 under the current set of Water Framework Directive WFD Regulations. Deadline to submit responses to the consultation is midday on 22 December 2018 – click here to download the Working Together consultation document.’

Part 2: River basin management planning overview and additional information

Use this document to find out how the 2015/ 2016 river basin management plans (RBMPs) were drawn up. It summarises the technical, economic and engagement processes used to develop each district’s RBMP. It explains how the:

  • water environment is managed
  • requirements of the water framework directive have been met
  • water environment is divided up and described
  • actions and objectives were identified

2015 River Basin Management plans

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