A New Approach to Catchment Management
The Government has recently adopted a catchment-based approach to the management of the country’s fresh water and transitional water bodies, in recognition of the many factors which affect water quality. This approach aims to integrate land and water management in a sustainable way to balance environmental, economic and social demands at a catchment scale.
The ‘catchment-based’ approach aims to deliver and raise awareness of the Water Framework Directive (WFD)and what this means for our rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. The WFD is EU legislation requiring improvements to water quality and the river environment.
There are two separate catchment areas in the TLS region
The Tidal Thames
The Lower Thames (Datchet to Teddington)
Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, a catchment management group has been established for each area to gather information and views from stakeholders, users of the river and residents to begin to create an achievable, holistic vision for the catchment.
Your tidal thames logo
The project for the tidal Thames, Your Tidal Thames, is one of 25 pilot catchment projects, funded by Defra. The ‘Your Tidal Thames’ project is a joint project between Thames21, Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP), Thames Strategy Kew to Chelsea and the Thames Landscape Strategy based on a community approach to river management.
The project covers the tidal area of the River Thames – from Teddington Lock downstream to Haven Point on the north bank of the Thames Estuary in Essex and Warden Point on the south bank in Kent.
As part of this project we want to hear how you feel about the tidal Thames; what do you cherish and value about the river, what are your concerns, what do you see as the current pressures on the river, what improvements would you like to see, where are the opportunities for improvements to be made, and are you interested in being involved in helping to protect and make environmental improvements to the river?
Click here to find out about how you can get involved and input into this exciting project.
Click here to download the Your Tidal Thames introduction to the Water Framework Directive.
At present the status of the tidal Thames has been classified as ‘moderate’- the aim is that the river should have ‘good’ chemical status and ecological potential by 2027.
Click here to download details of the Environment Agency’s classification methodology for surface water bodies.
We hope this project will build on the opportunity provided by the Water Framework Directive to start planning improvements to the tidal Thames that are inspired by the whole river community.
Flood Risk Management
The River Thames has some of the best flood defences in the world, protecting communities by an integrated system of warnings, defences, and local flood plans. The last serious loss of life was in 1953. Climate is changing however, so the Environment Agency has funded major new research on how the river functions and how it may change in the future. This research included changes to fluvial flows, sea storm surges, sea level rise, functionality of flood defence structures, and the consequences of more people living and working in the floodplain. Two new flood risk management strategies for the River Thames are needed to take us through the 21st Century – one for the tidal reaches and one for the freshwater river.
The TE2100 Project
The Thames Estuary 2100 project (TE2100), led by the Environment Agency, was formed to develop a comprehensive action plan to manage flood risk for the Tidal Thames from Teddington in West London, through to Sheerness and Shoeburyness in Kent and Essex.
The Thames Landscape Strategy played a key role in our area during the development of the scheme, linking the Environment Agency with partners and communities to ensure that the plan made the right flood management decisions for the future. Studies have showed that we are unlikely to need major changes to the existing flood defence system and structures for the next 25 years across the estuary. In the TLS area however, the combined risks of fluvial and tidal flooding will have an impact on how we use and manage the floodplain. What gets wet now is likely to get a lot wetter in the future.
Download TE2100 Plan
The River Thames Scheme
The floodplain between Datchet and Teddington, is the largest area of undefended floodplain in England. The River Thames scheme will meet the recommendations set out in the Lower Thames flood risk management strategy to reduce the consequences of a flood event.
The floodplain between Datchet and Teddington, is the largest area of undefended floodplain in England.
The scheme consists of three new flood channels, improvements to three of the existing Thames weirs, installation of property level products (to make them more resistant to floods) and improved flood incident response plans. The flood channels (all upstream of Weybridge), will be between 30 and 60 metres wide and 17 kilometres long, built in 3 sections.
In the TLS region it is planned to modify weirs to allow water to move through quicker during flood events and to increase the resilience of properties and landscapes located in the floodplain. Find out more by clicking below.
The Restoration of the Lost Floodplain
‘To work in partnership to re-create, conserve, connect and enhance the natural character of the floodplain in response to climate change for people, wildlife and occasionally water’.
In 2009, Sir David Attenborough, Patron of the TLS launched the ‘Restoration of the Lost Floodplain’ project setting out a way forward to adapt our fragile habitats along the Arcadian Thames in response to anticipated changes in the way the Thames floods, prioritising ways that strategic projects such as the emerging TE2100, Lower Thames Strategy and WFD can be implemented on the ground.
The goals and aspirations of the Restoration of the Lost Floodplain have been fully integrated into the Review of the Thames Landscape Strategy and the All London Green Grid Area 9 Framework for the Arcadian Thames.
To find out more click on the Restoration of the Lost Floodplain page.
Flooding can affect river use. To check out the latest conditions click below:
See current river levels simply by clicking below:
See current flood warnings: