Challenges in meeting the WFD and achieving sustainable flood risk management in urban rivers

Challenges in meeting the WFD and achieving sustainable flood risk management in urban rivers.
Bain, V.and Bettess , R. and Hardwick, M. and Vernon, S.
In: 41st Defra Flood and Coastal Management Conference, 4 - 6 July 2006, York, UK. (2006)

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Abstract:The improvement of urban rivers to reach good ecological status or good ecological potential represents a significant component of the work to meet the Water Framework Directive (WFD), given that the ecology of urban rivers is frequently highly degraded and that many of the rivers in the UK flow through urban centres. Likewise, the degradation of urban rivers has an impact on the hydrology and sediment regime of the catchment which can result in channels with low conveyance for flood flows. The URBEM European research project that was completed in October 2005, has provided extensive information on urban river rehabilitation schemes throughout Europe and North America. This paper draws on the lessons learnt from these international experiences of urban river rehabilitation, including information on the effectiveness of rehabilitation schemes in improving the ecological status of a river and on the timescales required for such improvement. Having explored the wide range of international examples, the paper then discusses in more detail the use of best practice geomorphological techniques in river rehabilitation for the Rothes Catchment case study in Scotland. Techniques such as Fluvial Audits and Conservation Baseline Assessments complement a multi-disciplinary approach to meeting the WFD and achieving sustainable flood risk management. In addition to the scientific aspects of rehabilitation, consideration will be given to the legislative framework for urban river rehabilitation schemes and will emphasise the importance of assigning organisational powers, time and budget to this task. The range of issues discussed in this paper highlight the growing challenges in implementing the WFD as the time to meet the requirements ticks by.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:Floods > General
Floods > Flood incident management
ID Code:61
Deposited On:12 Feb 2008 16:00
Last Modified:07 Aug 2014 10:38

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