A voice to be heard

The success of the Catchment Management for Water Quality project is firmly rooted in understanding and addressing user community needs, motivations and constraints. Key to this success has been the involvement from the beginning of project of an enthusiastic and engaged ‘community of practice’.

Made up of policy makers, regulators, industry, advisors and scientists, the community identified key questions concerning land, water and catchment management to deliver good water quality. This involvement of the stakeholder community has ensured the resources available through CaMMP are relevant, timely and driven by the needs of the catchment management community.ptas nulla pariatur?

Community Forum

Who and why

Community Forum
Community Forum

One of the aims of the Catchment Management for Water Quality  Project is to support the development of a community of practitioners, policy makers and scientists to develop future questions and encourage joint working. The Community Forum was established to help identify emerging questions relating to policy development and implementation in the areas of water and air pollution through consultation across the community.

Stakeholders from a wide range of organisations involved in catchment management from policy, practice or research perspectives took part in the Community Forum:

  • Governments of England, Wales and Scotland;
  • Policy makers from Defra, SEPA and DoE Northern Ireland covering aspects including water, soils, air, economics, flooding, ecosystems and biodiversity, climate change and farming, amongst others including the Forestry Commission
  • The research community e.g. NERC, Universities;
  • Regulators: EA, NE, SEPA, NRW, NIEA etc. covering a range of catchment management technical areas e.g. modelling, flooding, land management etc.
  • 3rd Sector organisations: e.g. representatives from NFU, CLA, Scottish Agricultural; College, Angling Trust, Rivers Trust (and the CaBA network), WWF, RSPB, CRT etc.
  • Water Industry: contacts from the major water companies in the UK, as well as UKWIR and DWI.

Getting started



Initial consultations were held with a range of stakeholders, including policy experts on water, soils and biodiversity in Defra. Similar discussions were held with Scottish and Welsh stakeholders. Telephone interviews were held with a range of representatives from the EA, NE, and 3rd sector organisations such as the NFU, the RSPB, WWF, the Rivers Trust, and water industry contacts. The pre-consultation discussions involved 47 people across 14 different organisations across the various sectors involved in water quality issues. The questions raised through in these interviews formed the basis of discussions with the wider stakeholder community in the Community Forum Workshops

The Forum Management Group


The Forum Management Group (FMG) consists of 18 people from 13 organisations involved in the larger community forum. This smaller, more focused stakeholder group provides guidance and advice in the selection of questions, case studies, models and data that are included in CaMMP.

Forum Workshops

Bringing the community together

Major challenges face the UK today in balancing competing demands on the water environment. Cross cutting policy areas such as those relating to land and food, energy, health, climate change and biodiversity all have impacts on, or could potentially benefit from, catchment management for water quality.  CaMMP conducted a series of workshops inviting scientists, policy makers and practitioners to identify key questions and exemplar case studies related to improved catchment management for water quality in the UK. 


User questions and concerns

Development of questions

Individual discussions were held with 47 individuals representing 13 organisations, and following this, workshops were held with over 48 people representing more than 40 different organisations from the water environment sector, including representation from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. All the information gathered through the individual consultations and workshops was used to set out a list of >280 individual questions which have been collated and combined into 22 themes covering a range of topics.

Consolidation of Questions

The long list of > 280 user questions was condensed and duplication in meaning was removed. Where questions were unique they were left in the long list verbatim. Where questions were consistently and repeatedly raised by stakeholders they were combined and condensed. Finally, the Environment Agency’s SWMI evidence gap questions were excluded as they represent fundamental gaps in our collective scientific understanding and so were considered out of scope for this project.  The resultant consolidated list of 102 questions were used by stakeholders in defining the case studies for the project.

Issues addressed

Further analysis identified some questions as being out of scope of the project as they were either fundamental research questions, too large and complex for the project or already explored in other projects. Remaining questions were then prioritised with the support of the Project funders and the project external Management Group to ensure a wide range of issues are covered including:

  • Scale
  • Effectiveness of measures
  • Multiple pollutants
  • Interpolation from catchment to national and monitored to unmonitored sites
  • Performance of catchments under future climate change
  • Cost - effectiveness of measures
  • Apportionment
  • Uncertainty and ensemble approaches

Let us know what you think

CaMMP focuses on the needs of policy makers and practitioners involved in the development and implementation of water policy in the UK, and on the wider ecosystem services related to this. We invite your comments and suggestions on these issues. Broad areas could include measures to help achieve WFD objectives, Natural Flood Management in relation to water quality, and Ecosystem Services within a water and WFD context. Use the contact form to post your comments and thoughts on these issues.