Identification of small surface water bodies

This paper sets out UKTAG’s advice on the application of the framework in the UK. The advice is designed to ensure that the implementation of the Directive focuses management on the protection and improvement of significant elements of the water environment and thereby helps deliver the greatest possible benefits. The identification of minor elements of surface water, such as garden ponds and artificial drainage ditches, as separate water bodies would cause significant logistical difficulties, and stretch the resources available to improve more significant elements of surface water. A balance is needed which takes account of the position expressed in the Horizontal Guidance on Water Bodies that the purposes of the Water Framework Directive apply to all surface waters but which also ensures that the management process is not overloaded and disabled by the creation of large numbers of very small management units.

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