Why environmental improvements are needed?

FCERM managers have a duty to protect and, in some cases, enhance the water environment. However, the activities they undertake can in some cases adversely affect the water environment.

This section provides information on the ways in which FCRM activities impact natural processes, how these impacts can be mitigated, and the legal and policy requirements which need to be met.

More information can be found in the following sections:

How does flood and coastal risk management affect water bodies?

FCERM activities can impact upon the shape of a watercourse and the natural processes that occur within it, such as:

  • Flow patterns
  • Width and depth of river channels
  • River features such as pools and riffles
  • Sediment availability / transport
  • The interaction between the river and its floodplain

In the WFD, the flow, shape and physical characteristics of a watercourse are referred to as its 'hydromorphology'. When FCERM works impact on these natural processes they can damage important habitats that support plants and animals.

This can cause the ecological condition of a water body to deteriorate and prevent environmental improvements from being undertaken properly.

FCERM works can also be beneficial. They can be designated to help achieve environmental improvements included in your RBMP, enhancing the water environment for plants and animals.

More information on how to decide whether environmental improvements are needed is provided here.