An assessment of the water courses in North West River Basin  has been undertaken by the Environment Agency and key partners. A shortlist of the issues believed to threaten the current and potential future uses of the water environment has been drawn up. The following issues have been identified as key problem areas that need to be addressed (they are not in order of priority). 

Click on Issues to find out more…

  • Physical modifications  – changes to the natural habitat by people, for example poorly designed or redundant flood defences and weirs, and changes to the natural river channels for land drainage and navigation. These modifications can cause changes to natural flow levels, excessive build-up of sediment, and the loss of the habitat that wildlife needs to thrive.
  • Pollution from waste water   – waste water can contain large amounts of nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrates), ammonia and other damaging substances, including bacteria and viruses.
  • Pollution from rural areas  – the effects of poor rural land management and agriculture on the water environment (also known as ‘diffuse rural pollution’).
  • Pollution from towns, cities and transport – rain water running over hard surfaces and carrying pollutants into waters, chemicals from contaminated land, and sewage from houses ‘mis-connected’ to surface water drains rather than sewers.
  • Changes to the natural flow and level of water  – taking too much water from rivers, canals, lakes and underground sources means that there is not enough water flowing.
  • Pollution from mines – contaminated water draining from mines, most of which are now abandoned.
  • Invasive non-native species  – the effect on the health of the natural environment of plants and animals from outside the UK introduced to UK waters.

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