Friday 19th July 2024
Hydrogeological Consultancy
Groundwater Protection & Leachate Management

WFD-driven Catchment Management

Defra / EA Evidence and Measures Team and Projects

Since 2009, Nick has worked within the small Defra / Environment Agency Evidence and Measures team, examining the cause(s) of failing WFD elements (i.e. fish, invertebrates, water quality) on the Petteril catchment in Cumbria, the South Fylde Drains and Savick Brook between Preston and Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, Moston Brook; an urban and significantly culverted brook in Manchester, and the Ouseburn; a mixed rural and urban river in Newcastle. The technical work, with Paul Hulme of pjHYDRO, uses existing information (including archives and stakeholder testimonies) rather than new investigations to gain consensus on the causes of failure with stakeholders at a series of workshops. Methods have been developed to evaluate and present disparate and often incomplete information sources. Over 100 catchment management measures have been detailed by stakeholders as a result of Paul and Nick’s efforts.

From 2013 to 2017 (Defra project - WT1538 Operationalising the outputs from the Evidence and Measures project, see Reference #32 on Downloads page), work has been examining possible links between poor fish (brown trout and salmon) numbers and unionised ammonia. It has also examined how large catchments can be screened and evaluated at a higher level so efforts can be focussed and has assessed the consequences of measures applied on the River Petteril following work in 2009-2011. Between September 2013 and April 2015, the team worked with the Environment Agency’s Flood Team to see how ecological / WFD measures could be woven into a Flood Risk Management Strategy for the Humber Estuary. In 2014, the team worked with the Rivers Trust (, to see how our combined experience on catchment investigations could be disseminated to the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) hosts and their stakeholders.

Other Catchment Management Investigations

Nick has undertaken work with Severn Trent Water to find catchment management solutions to the pesticide contamination of one of their groundwater sources in Gloucestershire. He has assisted Wessex Water in preparing a proposal to mitigate additional nitrogen inputs to Poole Harbour from new housing development using catchment management. Nick has also undertaken projects for Natural Resources Wales investigating the source of ammonia in a river and the source(s) of phosphate to a lake in Anglesey.