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Celebrating 5 Years of the Catchment Based Approach in the UK

Mar 30th, 2017 |

On Thursday 16th March WWF brought together 150 representatives from government agencies, businesses and communities to celebrate five years of the Catchment Based Approach which has delivered improvements to river health and management across England and Wales. There are over 100 Catchment Partnerships throughout the UK. This is a community-led approach that engages people and groups from across society to take action to improve water quality.The event highlighted that there is still more to be done and the Catchment Based Approach is critical to achieving healthy rivers now and for future generations to enjoy. Minister Coffey announced £6.3 million of investment to support further action.

EWP contributed to the panel discussion explaining how water stewardship encourages companies and farmers to identify and take practical actions as well as work with others in the catchment to address shared water risks. The Catchment-Based Approach provides a framework to work with others to improve water management more widely, increase the resilience, and encourage the suppliers to do the same.

Delegates have also signed to the WWF WaterLIFE declaration – which defines a shared vision for healthy rivers, fair water use and sustainable supply chains, and sets out three principles – based on partnership, equity and collaboration that are essential to deliver the vision.

Delegates at the event heard that:

  • Only 17% rivers and streams in England are at good ecological status
  • The water industry is responsible for 1/4 of all reasons for not achieving good status
  • Agriculture is responsible for nearly 1/3 of all reasons for not achieving good status
  • The key issues facing rivers are abstraction and pollution from sewers and farms
  • There are 108 catchment partnerships across England and Wales and over 1500 organisations involved in the Catchment Based Approach

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