Reviewing the model for water management in the North West

Natural Course commissions study into water governance across the North West

Phase 1 high level study of arrangements in North West River Basin District completed by stakeholders

Rivers flow through private land and public places, crossing different geographical and political boundaries.  So, when thinking about who is responsible for the protection of and the improvements to water quality, water quantity and flood risk management, there are many stakeholders involved.

However, this responsibility is layered and complex.

There is primary legislation which sets the roles and responsibility for water management.  There are laws, policies, strategies, plans and guidance around which stakeholders can make their decisions. And, of course there are funding mechanisms which are critical to a project taking place.

For those stakeholders involved, the complexity of the governance brings an additional risk that opportunities for funding and investment could be missed too.

It also means taking a joined up approach to tackling problems can be lacking.  When all combined together, this makes it hard to develop and fund interventions, and can result in poor performance, delays and inefficiencies, and increased costs.

To help get to the bottom of the situation in the North West, Natural Course has commissioned the consultant Eunomia to review existing water governance across the region.  The aim is to gain a better understanding of what works and doesn’t work well in the current set up, and propose alternative solutions based on national and international best practice.

The work will be split into three phases made up of:

  • A desk top, high-level study of water governance arrangements in the North West River Basin District, with follow up interviews.
  • A more in-depth study in Cumbria to provide a more detailed understanding of the specific governance arrangements.
  • Identification and recommendations on potential structures for an alternative approach within Cumbria.

We are pleased to announce that the first phase has recently been completed, and the report can be accessed via the Natural Course website here.