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Water Framework Directive (WFD); Disproportionate Costs

Reference: 15/RG/08/10
ISBN: 1 84057 792 4
Published Date: 22/09/2015

‘Disproportionate cost’ represents one of the key tests for an exemption to meeting the objectives of the Water Framework Directive. This project reviewed guidance for disproportionate cost assessment available at the time and tested it using three key challenges to the water industry likely to be faced in RBMP2 as demonstration cases. The key challenges tested were: 1) river flow impacts on aquatic ecology; 2) river eutrophication risk from nutrients and impacts on aquatic ecology; and 3) chemical impacts on aquatic systems.

Price: £30  

Learning from the First Cycle of the Water Framework Directive

Reference: 15/RG/08/9
ISBN: 184057 766 5
Published Date: 16/06/2015

This report presents evidence from across Europe to assess which measures have worked well and not so well in the first cycle (2009-2015) of the Water Framework Directive. The report identifies whether other, more effective solutions are available that could be used in the second cycle plans in the UK and also compares the level of ambition across Member States.

In many cases it is too early to have conclusive evidence of the success of measures. However, the report draws upon twelve case studies from across Europe and interviews with Member States. The main lessons from these are: that more action is needed to control substances at source; that stronger incentives are needed to promote action on diffuse pollution; that economic appraisal needs to be consistent across spatial scales; and that unless entire packages of measures are funded they will be ineffective.

Price: £30  

A Review of Current Trade Effluent Allowances and Fixed Strengths

Reference: 15/RG/08/8
ISBN: 184057 765 7
Published Date: 04/06/2015

Water and Sewerage Companies (WASCs) recover costs for treating trade effluent using the Mogden formula which ensures that all customers are paying their appropriate share. The formula calculates charges based on the effluent volume and strength discharged, though in practice these may be difficult to measure. Therefore, WASCs apply allowances and fixed strengths to estimate these, which provide WASCs and traders both financial and timesaving benefits. However, the opening of the non-household retail market in 2017 could see increased challenges from traders if volume and strength estimates are not consistent and transparent.

This project provides a robust reference review and industry wide guidance of when and how to apply allowances and fixed strengths. The key findings are that the 25 l/person/day domestic allowance used by most WASCs remains a valid estimate of domestic water use and approaches to non-return to sewer allowances are fair and transparent. It is however recommended that allowances should be calculated in conjunction with a water balance and if trade effluent customers disagree with their allowance they can fit sub meters and effluent meters. Technical guidance documents were developed to facilitate consistency in managing trade effluent.

Price: £275