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Water in the East Midlands Sharon Palmer Regional Environment Planning Manager Environment Agency June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Water in the East Midlands Sharon Palmer Regional Environment Planning Manager Environment Agency June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water in the East Midlands Sharon Palmer Regional Environment Planning Manager Environment Agency June 2012

2 This session will look at: Water in the East Midlands The Water Framework Directive and what it means for Local Authorities Planning for water infrastructure, funding and PR14 The Water White Paper

3 What is our role? Regulator Advisor EA - Operator

4 As a planning advisor Specific Consultation Body Strategic Environmental Assessment Data and information and advice Duty to Co-operate Work with LAs as well as LEPs and LNPs

5 River Trent LPA’s River Basin Scale Duty to Cooperate? - River Basin Planning - River Catchments

6 Derwent Trent Witham Welland Nene The ‘Water Grid’

7 Rainfall in mm/year 1961-1990

8 Rivers Groundwater River Basin Planning Specific licence changes Indicative water availability during low water levels

9 River Trent Rutland Water Strategic links Resilience Major transfers and water resource schemes

10 Water Framework Directive purpose – to establish an EU-wide framework for sustainable water management objectives - to achieve ‘good status’ and ‘no deterioration’ for all water bodies (surface water and groundwater) by 2015, or a later agreed date, through River Basin Management Plans and Programmes of Measures. The WFD was transposed into law in England and Wales by Regulations published in 2003. The WFD encourages an holistic approach to water resource management and the sustainable use of water

11 WFD Objectives new ecological standards for water environment new water environment objectives to protect the baseline (‘no deterioration’) and to improve water ecology (‘Good Ecological Status’), contributing to mitigating the effects of floods and droughts evidence relating to ‘Tests of Soundness’ for spatial plans including Minerals & Waste Plans, and Penalties if there is a failure to deliver improvements to our water environment.

12 River Basin Management Plans Deliver the requirements of the WFD. Set out measures and objectives to ensure water bodies achieve and maintain good status. They have implications for location of future development Soon we’ll writing next plan - Working together consultation. You can find it at: https://consult.environment-

13 Water Quality Current draft WFD compliance Need to aim for good quality and no deterioration Growth must not cause further deterioration Poor Quality Moderate Quality Good/High Quality Large Sewage Treatment Works

14 Improving the evidence To improve water quality need to know why a water body is failing and then what we can do about it During 2011/12 undertaking over 2000 investigations to improve our understanding Know that we need to help Local Authorities access the latest information to help their decision making Spatial scale of evidence – Duty to Co-operate?

15 Responsibilities of Local Authorities “have regard to the River Basin Management Plan and any supplementary plans in exercising their functions” provide information and “such assistance as the Environment Agency may reasonably seek” general responsibility not to compromise UK compliance with EU Directives Localism Act includes a power for Government to potentially require local authorities to make payments for financial sanctions for infraction of EU law if the authority has caused or contributed to that infraction

16 Overview of LA activities for contributing to WFD objectives

17 New Advice Note for Local Authorities What is the European Water Framework Directive? Why is the water environment and the WFD important to local economies and communities? What are the roles for local authorities under the Water Framework Directive? How can local authorities contribute to WFD objectives? What further advice, information and support is available to local authorities from the Environment Agency and others?

18 Planning for Environmental Infrastructure Essential for Local Authorities to understand the needs and plan for water infrastructure Evidence is essential – water cycle studies can help to examine the impact of growth on water resources, water quality and flood risk Investment needs to be in-tune with implementation of development plans and delivery of infrastructure

19 Funding Water Infrastructure Water companies build, own and maintain the infrastructure for supplying our water and cleaning up our dirty water. Every five years a review is undertaken of the prices that the water companies can charge. This includes decisions on the services customers receive and the investment companies can carry out. Investment can include environmental improvements and accommodating new demand through growth. Water companies have to present a strong case for investment in upgrading or providing new assets for growth – they need to know what investment is needed where and when to plan for this infrastructure.

20 PR14 In November 2014 Ofwat will set the prices that water companies will charge their customers between 2015 and 2020 (PR14) Ofwat are the economic regulator for the water industry and their main role is to seek value for customers. EA, along with the Drinking Water Inspectorate, are responsible for environmental regulation of the water industry. PR14 will be a major piece of work for us as it determines how much money will be spent (including environmental improvements) by water companies over the next five years.

21 Role of the EA in PR14 The EAs role is to work with water companies and others to plan environmental improvements to better protect the water environment and secure wider benefits for society and the economy. One of the ways we do this is through the National Environment Programme (one element of PR14). The NEP sets out the statutory requirements that ensure that water companies meet European and national environmental standards related to water Water companies incorporate these requirements into their proposed business plans, which inform Ofwat's decision on prices

22 Role of Ofwat in PR14 In setting price limits Ofwat has a duty to make sure that each company has enough money to finance its functions but no higher than they need to be. Price limits are determined by working out how much money each company must collect from its customers to: finance its day to day spending finance its capital investment programme reward outperformance in the previous five-year period continue to finance previous capital investment through the return the company earns on its regulatory capital value (RCV) pay tax it is liable for

23 Water White Paper Water for Life describes a vision for future water management in which the water sector is resilient, in which water companies are more efficient and customer focused, and in which water is valued as the precious and finite resource it is. And it explains that we all have a part to play in the realisation of this vision…..

24 Water For Life – White Paper introduce a reformed water abstraction regime re-affirm the catchment approach remove barriers to the greater trading of abstraction licences and bulk supplies of water consult on national standards and a planning approval system for sustainable drainage package of reforms to extend competition in the water sector

25 Sharon Palmer Regional Environment Planning Manager Midlands Region

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