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Water Framework Directive

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) may have implications for canoeists. It applies to all water bodies - including rivers, lakes, coasts and estuaries and is monitoring the status of the ecology, morphology and quality of each water body

Under the terms of the WFD, the Environment Agency (England and Wales) are the competent authorities for implementing the Directive.

Activities that have the potential to affect water status - including pollution (diffuse as well as point source), dredging, impoundments, and the introduction of alien species will be examined and potentially regulated if they are considered to pose a risk to the water body achieving what is termed under the Directive as 'good status'.

Whilst it is unclear at this stage as to how exactly the Directive will be implemented, it does have the potential to affect all aspects of recreational boating including:

  • maintenance dredging
  • bank protection and weed control
  • navigation and vessel movements
  • discharges and diffuse pollution
  • new developments

British Canoeing is well represented on the WFD National Liaison Panel as well as on DEFRA's National Stakeholder forum and are monitoring the implementation of the Directive closely. River Basin Management Plans have been completed 2009. If you are interested in being more involved regionally then please contact your regional committee or if you have further questions please email the Waterways and Environment Team.

For more details on Water Framework Directive please see the WFD website.