Assessing affordability of measures to meet Water Framework Directive requirements in England REF: 855

The objective of this project is to guide Defra and their Ministers in decisions on updating river basin management plans, in particular assessing whether measures to improve the quality of the water environment are affordable. Affordability is to be considered for each sector or group which may have to bear the costs, and at the national level and potentially the river basin district level. The sectoral definitions to be followed are those that were adopted by the Environment Agency (EA).

As the decision to implement environmental measures can affect a large variety of economic agents, there is a need to consider the affordability of measures across different sectors (and hence economic agents) in a consistent and equitable manner.

The objectives of this project are to:
1. Highlight approaches applicable to the different sectors in relation to affordability as one aspect relevant to disproportionate cost decisions whilst:
a. being applicable at an appropriate level of disaggregation;
b. maintaining even handedness across the sectors;
c. observing the principles of WFD; and
d. being grounded in sound economic theory.
2. To complement the information on the draft programmes of measures which will be presented for consultation by EA in the process of updating river basin management plans.

The report has been published on the Defra website here