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Work starts on the Water Framework Directive river basin plans


River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) produced by the UK environmental regulators have been approved by the government. The RBMPs have been written to address the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and outline measures to ensure water bodies, including groundwater bodies, achieve good ecological status. Environment Secretary Hilary Benn reported that £1 million would be given to the Environment Agency (England and Wales) to assist with their water quality investigations while funding to tackle agricultural water pollution would be increased by 50% to £7.5 million.

To read Defra’s news article about the RBMPs please visit


Environment Agency encourages water industry to cut carbon emissions


In collaboration with Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and Water UK, the Environment Agency has produced four reports which outline how the water industry can cut their carbon emissions whilst still meeting water quality targets set by the Water Framework Directive. Academic representatives who contributed to the third of the reports set out their vision of a low-carbon water industry by 2050 and call for Ofwat’s remit to extend to emission reductions as well as affordable water.

To find out more about the four reports please visit the EA website at


New Regulations for Private Water Supplies in England


The Private Water Supply Regulations 2009 came into force on 1 January 2010 with the aim of ensuring that private water supplies in England meet the same drinking water standards as public water sources.

It is estimated that there are 42,000 private water supplies serving around 300,000 people in England. The new regulations specify high water quality standards, effective monitoring and risk assessment in a bid to reduce the risk of adverse health conditions resulting from contaminated water supplies. The improvements to the private water supplies are predicted to save the health industry, businesses and consumers up to £80 million.

To read the full article please visit


Consultation opens on water discharge activities exemptions


Government guidance about the exemption of certain water discharges is open for consultation. The guidance outlines requirements for the registration of small sewage discharges to groundwater from small sewage treatment works, such as rural domestic properties. The guidance forms part of the Environmental Permitting Programme (EPP2) which aims to provide a simpler and cheaper approach to environmental regulation by providing a single permitting system which will cover, discharges to controlled waters, groundwater authorisations, water abstraction and some waste regulation.

The consultation is open until the 18 February 2010 details of which can be found on the Defra website:


The Hyporheic Network produces handbook


The Hydrorheic Network has produced a handbook on groundwater-surface water interactions and the hyporheic zone. The handbook aims to provide managers and researchers with the latest information about our understanding of the hyporheic zone, to transfer knowledge and to encourage the use of science in management decisions.

To find out more about the Hyporheic Network and the handbook please visit

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