Significant Water Management Issues (SWMIs) pose threats to the health of waterways in the UK by affecting clean water supplies, fishing, recreational activities and biodiversity. The most common SWMIs include over-abstraction, chemical pollution, agricultural pollution and destruction of natural habitats.
The Environment Agency (EA), with the support of Sciencewise, commissioned a public dialogue to enable public views, ideas and concerns to be fed into plans and priorities for the EA’s River Basin Management Plans.
The process took place between May 2013 and June 2014 and included workshops in the seven river basin districts in England, involving 119 local members of the public. Additionally, an online survey was conducted and reached 867 people. The process was delivered by 3KQ and Ipsos MORI and was independently evaluated by Icarus.
The findings from the public dialogue have been used to inform EA policy at strategic and catchment levels.