We need to understand what is stopping us from meeting targets for good ecological status, and what we can do to resolve it.


Natural Course aims to:

• find ways of reaching our ecological targets sooner by trialling new ways of working together

• establish more joined-up ways of making decisions that impact our waters in the future

• line-up investments in the water environment so more money can be made available for improvement works at one time – meaning the bigger, more expensive issues can be tackled


Specific Objectives:

Capacity building
• Substantially increase the capacity to deliver improvement in water body status in the North West River Basin District
(This means developing and strengthening skills and technical knowledge to enable organisations to overcome the barriers to delivering the EU Water Framework Directive).

Increase affordability
• Demonstrate progress in measure delivery through improvement in affordability by increasing mobilisation of relevant funds, and improvement of cost benefit. This will be done through the identification of multiple benefits and synergistic measures across water quality, Flood and Water Resource management and as a result will improve Biodiversity.
(We are increasing funding and spending effectively through collaboration so that everyone can play a part in tackling some of the big issues).

Reduce technically infeasible measures
• Demonstrate reduction of otherwise technically infeasible measures by addressing difficult issues in river basin including diffuse rural and urban pollution, natural flood management, uptake of sustainable drainage solutions, and use of green infrastructure and ecosystem services.
(Our approach is to look at the really difficult challenges that have been too problematic for any one organisation to deal with on its own).

Stakeholder engagement to mobilise funding
• Increase engagement and formalise the role of stakeholders to better target priorities for mobilising funding, and to increase delivery activity in integrated water management.
(The more people are aware of the issues, the more we can better target priorities for mobilising funding and increasing delivery activity in integrated water management).

Innovative solutions through third party data
• Improve understanding of innovative solutions to meet good status by improving third party data and knowledge input into river basin planning.
(This means improving data, increasing access to it, and better understanding all the evidence available to set priorities).

Reduce barriers by reducing policy and legal conflicts
• Reduce the barriers for the adoption of an integrated approach by reducing policy and legal conflicts, improving financial instruments, increasing delivery capability and capacity while providing an appropriate management infrastructure to facilitate further take up.
(By working together on the same issues, we can make sure we are not trying to do different things which conflict with each other).

Provide mechanisms to upscale IP successes to England and Member State level
• Upscale our success
(We want to share what we learn, influence and persuade people and organisations to learn from us, and work in an improved way in future).

Complementary actions objectives:

To import best practice (adopt, adapt, appropriate) for the objectives above, required implementation in the North West River Basin District, and for up-scaling to England and Member State level including:
• Principles of integration of spatial planning, land management and private investment with water objectives for delivery of sustainable drainage and green infrastructure improvements to water body status.
• Resolve problems relating to management of cross-¬border water bodies between devolved administrations and international administrations in the Member State


Next: Timeline