UKTAG work priorities 2014-2017
UKTAG is a partnership of the UK environment and conservation agencies which was set up by the UK-wide WFD policy group consisting of UK government administrations. It was created to provide coordinated advice on the the science and technical aspects of the European Union's Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). This Directive sets an enormous challenge in meeting the objectives of the improvement and the protection of the water environment and is the major driver for the sustainable management of water in the UK. The water environment includes all rivers, canals, lakes, estuaries, wetlands and coastal waters as well as water under the ground.
UKTAG’s high level work priorities are designed to address concerns about some of the existing standards, gaps in our understanding of the relationships between pressures and ecological impact where we may be subject to challenge, and interlinkages between Natura protected areas and WFD. The work priorities also aim to look at likely future issues, develop guidance on national measures and investigate an integrated catchment approach.
It is UKTAG’s aim that all of the items in the table are undertaken over the next 2-3 years, with the latest deadline for standards work being late 2016 / early 2017 in order to feed into the 3rd river basin planning cycle. Some items will be fast-tracked to address gaps in our understanding of impacts this cycle, for example ecological tools sensitive to the impact of water resources pressures and a lake fish classification method. Given the potential changes in staffing levels, on-going checks will be made throughout this period with regards to staff resources for the work. This work programme has been signed-off by the WFD UK Administrations Group.