Information on environmental improvements

What is an environmental improvement?

An environmental improvement is a practical step that needs to be taken to improve the water environment and address the impacts of human activities. 

The Environment Agency has identified a number of environmental improvements which need implementing to achieve GEP. An A/HMWB can only be said to have reached GEP when all of these improvements are in place.

When are environmental improvements needed?

An environmental improvement needs to be implemented when:

  • New or ongoing FCERM activities are likely to make the condition of a water body worse. The likelihood of deterioration in ecological condition should have been identified when the planned activities were screened for compliance with the WFD.
  • Environmental improvements may be able to be used to prevent deterioration. Or, if deterioration is unavoidable, should be implemented as part of a defence (under Article 4.7 of the WFD) which would allow the activity to proceed.

How can I find the environmental improvements relevant to my site?

In England and Wales you can find the environmental improvements relevant to your site by going to 'What's in your backyard?'. Find your site on the map and click on it to find the following key information:

  • Which RBMP your site falls in.
  • Name of the water body and its identification number.
  • Whether the water body is Artificial or Heavily Modified.
  • Description of the condition of the water body, and the targets that have been set.

Once you have the water body identification number, go to the Annex B of the RBMP and look up this number, you will find a list of the environmental improvements which need to be implemented and by when.

Please note that the RBMP will refer to environmental improvements as mitigation measures, here we have chosen to use 'environmental improvement' which is the Plain English alternative.

For the rest of Europe find the measures in your RBMPs by going to: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/participation/map_mc/map.htm