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    Why is the Water Framework Directive Classifications updated every 3 years?


    Our assessment of Water Framework Directive classifications is now taking place every three years. Each assessment is based on a rolling 3-year average and because many environmental parameters respond slowly to environmental changes, most of the results do not change from one year to the next.

    This means the scale of change in the classification results each year was small but carrying out the assessment required considerable resource. Moving to assessment every three years has freed up resource so we spend less time analysing and more time improving the environment, so our staff can spend more time leading partnerships, delivering actions and building a common evidence base across all parties. The longer period between assessments also means that the process will be better able to identify real changes in parameters and verify that actions are delivering long term improvements.

    Although classification assessment is now every three years, we will continue to monitoring the health of our waters throughout this period and the raw data is available through the Water Quality Archive: 


    The classifications for 2019 are currently being updated and are due to be released in May 2020.

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