UK Water Industry Research commissioned Cascade Consulting to undertake a review of the ‘SEA – Guidance for Water Resources Management Plans and Drought Plans’, and to incorporate Habitats Regulations Assessment guidance (HRA). The revised Guidance is aligned with the revised Drought Plan Guideline (DPG), and has been developed with involvement of the team updating the Environment Agency Water Resources Planning Guideline (WRMPG), issued as a draft for consultation. The project was facilitated by close involvement of the Project Steering Group, which included representatives of the water industry, the Environment Agency, Natural England and Countryside Council for Wales.
The objectives of this project were to:
- Review original SEA guidance and the feedback from regulators and stakeholders given on company WRMPs and DP’s relating to both SEA and the Habitat Regulations
- Identify key areas where process, scope and approach differ between different company plans
- Review WRMP approaches against the new guidance documents to identify best practice and key areas of deficiency and to recommend how the need for AA and SEA should be assessed
- Provide a methodology for integrating these two processes into the WRMP preparation and preparing the environmental report and HRA where required