The NFU is one of 60 organisations to have signed up to a catchment management declaration at a Water Summit attended by HRH The Prince of Wales.
The declaration commits the signatories to six principles designed to explore a range of longer term ambitions which could include:
- Developing the potential for minimum, locally appropriate water stewardship standards
- Exploring the benefits of an open framework to represent all data, evidence and best practice to drive continuous improvement and facilitate pooling of resources
- Reviewing current governance frameworks for delivery of catchment management and promoting improvements that provide opportunities for working together at a strategic level to deliver multiple stakeholder benefits from single interventions
- Establishing a common narrative to be used across sectors and stakeholders to improve understanding of the importance of water stewardship
- Sharing best practice across catchments.
The catchment management declaration was created by Anglian Water, Thames Water and Yorkshire Water with support from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), The Rivers Trust and Business in the Community (BITC).
The initiative recognises the importance of multi-sector collaboration across the public-private boundary and supports the delivery of Defra’s 25 year Environment Plan which calls for a step change in how water catchment areas are managed. It demonstrates the widespread public and private sector support for solutions that can protect drinking water quality, reduce flood risk, and support the health of UK rivers.