Project Appreciation and Objectives
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) was the most substantial water legislation to come out of Brussels. A key requirement of the WFD involved formation of River Management Basin Plans (RBMPs) by 2009, and appropriate Programme of Measures to achieve 'Good Status' by 2015. Understanding the practical / business implications of the WFD was critical to ensure the new demands were integrated smoothly into business planning. Indeed, DEFRA's Guidance on PR04 referred to the WFD when it stated that "it would expect companies to consider whether current solutions can be designed to facilitate later upgrading to meet any changes that can be reasonably anticipated".
Planned how to meet the Directive's requirements is problematic, as a number of ambiguities in interpretation / implementation remain. With AMP 5 not due until 2010, but draft RBMPs to be established by 2008, there was real danger that the industry would not have resources / information necessary to defend its position, avoid inappropriate investment and ensure business plans adequately account for WFD requirements.
This project helped Water Utilities to assess how ready they are to meet WFD requirements and cost-effectively plan the investment likely to be required.
- Understanding implications of WFD legislation, including assessment of vulnerable areas and identification of potential risks / opportunities to business practice.
- Identified uncertainties and gaps in knowledge and potential opportunities to optimise investment, including R&D, during business planning.
- Opportunity to share experience / issues within a collaborative group with WFD implementation expertise.
- Facilitation of Regulatory negotiations on need / extent of improvement programmes.