Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT December 2016

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 26 of 39

www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | DECEMBER 2016 | 27 In the know Digging deeper: policy and regulation The next 12 months will be a critical time for the UK water industry as its response to the Water Framework Directive in PR19 coincides with Brexit negotiations and Wales). A key part of this is the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP), which requires identification of all the actions to be taken in a river basin to deliver the objectives of the WFD; the original timetable for Member States required the RBMP to commence in 2009. Unfortunately, the amount of work and the timescales required by the member states to achieve 'good' status was severely underestimated and by 2015 less than 50% of European Union water bodies achieved the necessary standard. As a result, at least two further six-year RBMPs are now proposed, which T he Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000) introduced new and ambitious objectives to protect and restore aquatic ecosystems as a basis for ensuring the long term sustainable use of water for people, business and nature. This committed European Union member states to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status (as defined by various standards) of all water bodies (including marine waters up to one nautical mile from shore) by 2015. The WFD became UK law on 4th January 2004 (in England The WFD and Brexit GeoFF Cooper-SmiTh TEChniCal DiRECToR FaCiliTaTED REsEaRCh takes implementation up to 2027; it is anticipated that at that point WFD compliance will be 100% and all water bodies will therefore be of good status. Although this extension is both welcome and necessary, the phasing of the RBMPs has the potential to represent a considerable challenge to the UK in achieving WFD compliance in a timely and cost-effective manner. This is because the UK has a five-year investment cycle, known as of Asset Management Programmes (AMPs), which is out of step with the six-year cycle of the RBMPs (Figure 1). A consequence of this 'mismatch' is that most of the capital expenditure required to comply with the WFD will undoubtedly have to be undertaken in AMP7, which runs from April 2020 to March 2025. This doesn't seem too bad a situation until the timetable for PR19 – the process of submission to the Water Regulator, OFWAT, leading up to the commencement of AMP7 - is taken into consideration. Most water companies are currently preparing to start the PR19 process in earnest as a business plan needs to be submitted to OFWAT in early September 2018, with a draŸ determination following in mid-2019 and the final determination in late 2019. Tougher implementation Although implementation of the WFD is actually already underway as part of AMP6, these are the easier elements: e.g. those with a Phosphorus discharge of greater than 0.5 mg/l. The really difficult, and expensive elements, including P standards of less than 0.5 and removing priority substances (affecting around 700 wastewater treatment works in the UK and potentially the most challenging component of the WFD) is yet to do. Although the UK, through its CIP1 and CIP2 (Chemical Investigation) programmes, is further ahead than most other EU countries in terms of its understanding of the extent of the problem, there is still so much more to do, particularly regarding the determination of cost-effective strategies, technologies and techniques for the removal of these substances and understanding their subsequent fate. £30BN cost The UK Government Science and Technology Select Committee determined that the cost of implementing the WFD in the UK could be as much as £30BN, with an Figure1:AMPandRBMPCycleCompatibility AMP RBMPCycles PriceReview 2015 2020 2025 203 6 7 8 2027 1 2 Figure 1: aMP and RBMP Cycle Compatibility 2030 2025 2020 2015

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