The water environment is affected by every activity that takes place on land as well as through our actions in abstracting, using and returning water to rivers, the sea and the ground. Catchments are the natural scale to consider this aspect of the environment. This is particularly important when trying to address the significant pressures placed on the water environment by diffuse pollution from both agricultural and urban sources, and widespread, historical alterations to the natural form of channels.
The objectives for the Catchment Based Approach are:
- To deliver positive and sustained outcomes for the water environment by promoting a better understanding of the environment at a local level; and
- To encourage local collaboration and more transparent decision-making
- when both planning and delivering activities to improve the water environment.
Adopting the approach provides a platform for engagement, discussion and decisions of much wider benefits including tackling diffuse agricultural and urban pollution, and widespread, historical alterations to the natural form of channels. As part of this, the approach will help direct local decisions, made by Government, businesses, landowners and the community, to secure positive environmental improvements for rivers and catchments. Local decision making processes will both help shape and be influenced by broader scale river basin management and planning.