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River Basin Planning

In England and Wales, the Environment Agency prepares plans every six years for how to manage river basin districts. They are known as river basin management plans. They are long documents that include, amongst other things:

  • a description of the state of the rivers, estuaries, lakes, coastal waters and groundwater in the district
  • a description of the pressures and impacts on the water environment
  • objectives for improving or maintaining the status of the waters
  • a programme of measures to achieve those objectives

The plans are a requirement of the Water Framework Directive and Regulations (links below). The current plans cover the period 2015-2021. They are available from the Environment Agency's website.

Get involved

The Environment Agency has to consult a wide range of groups and the public at large when preparing and reviewing its plans. You'll find details of the different stages of this work in Defra's River Basin Planning Guidance. Contact the Environment Agency to find out about how to get involved.


Water Framework Directive

The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2003

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