Water Policy & River Basin Management Planning

Support for regulators and businesses with environmental policy and legislation surrounding river basin management planning.

Ian Codling is our expert in Water Policy and River Basin Management Planning

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Supporting policy development and compliance

River basin management plans (RBMPs) guide solutions to ensure clean and plentiful water environments. 

WRc’s policy and legislation team offers varied support to RBMP processes across the UK and worldwide, as leading drivers toward environmental improvement.

Our team are equipped to assist policy from its development by government, its implementation by regulators, and through to its compliance by businesses. WRc are committed in helping all stakeholders meet their environmental obligations in the most cost-effective manner.

Guiding development and implementation

We have an established international reputation for providing independent advice to governments and environmental regulators for developing and implementing water policy.

WRc have supported the European Commission assessing implementation of the Water Framework Directive for over 15 years, including technical assessment of the implementation of the Floods Directive.

Don't just take our word for it

  • Water Framework Directive
  • Nitrates Directive
  • Agricultural Water Pollution Policy
  • Ecological Status Indicator for Rivers

Leading a consortium of companies providing expertise from across Europe, WRc has provided support to the European Commission DG Environment on the implementation of the Water Framework and other Directives. 

This included developing approaches for compliance assessment, as well as evaluating implementation in Member States.

WRc reviewed and updated the methodology used to designate Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs), and developed new boundaries for surface water and groundwater NVZs in England and Wales.

A weight of evidence approach was designed and implemented based on:

  • quantile regression of nitrate concentrations in rivers; and
  • predictive modelling of water quality based on land use.

WRc undertook a Rapid Evidence Assessment of environmental modelling studies regarding the mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture.

Our evaluation of models' strengths and weaknesses, their sensitivity to key assumptions, and their outcomes informed Defra’s revised policy on agricultural water pollution and identified priority evidence gaps for future research.

WRc provided statistical advice to support the development of a new Ecological Status Indicator (ESI) for monitoring long-term changes in the status of river water bodies. 

We devised a statistical approach to:

  • test for changes in the ESI metric through time;
  • determine the optimum requirements to deliver sufficient precision and confidence; and
  • produce a simple tool to calculate the ESI.

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Ian Codling

Senior Consultant

Ian specialises in making the business case for catchment management schemes to meet drinking water and wider environmental objectives . His extensive experience in assessing the impacts of a range of activities on the water environment includes the implementation of, and analysis of results from, aquatic environmental monitoring programmes. He also specialises in UK and European legislation and policy underpinning water pollution control including the Water Framework Directive and Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.