Water & Natural Capital

Water management in the UK is heavily influenced by legislation with a variety of Acts and Regulations affecting both water quality and water resources. The 25 Year Environment Plan goal for clean and plentiful water sets a challenging target for improvement of England’s waters.

At RPA, we specialise in all areas of water resource management, including managing water resources, water quality (and the remediation of poor quality water and sediments that may contribute to legacy effects), and modifications to water bodies that can affect both water resources.

In addition to our work on water, we also offer services in natural capital evaluation and accounting, helping identify and monetise the benefits associated with stocks of natural resources and ecosystems, and approaches to funding those improvements.

RPA’s team hold substantial expertise in assessment and appraisal methodologies for both water and natural capital, with our work involving assessing and appraising impacts in qualitative, quantitative, and monetary terms, identify options to reduce negative impacts and maximise positive impacts, determining the costs of these options, and identifying beneficiaries and funding sources.


We use structured, evidence-based approaches that combine qualitative, quantitative and monetary information to ensure that decision-making takes into account all possible economic, social and environmental effects. Our team routinely develops new, innovative approaches for assessments which enable us to provide high-quality policy advice whilst still maintaining auditability and our renowned evidence-based approach.

RPA has substantial policy experience in managing water, with our Environment Director Teresa Fenn having over 25 years in the field. We can evaluate water quality and sources of pollution and develop steps to reduce said pollution. We also develop frameworks and toolkits for water managers, including tools to enable those involved in water management to show the benefits of their work to their stakeholders.

RPA has also been at the forefront of applying natural capital approaches to policy since the early 1990s, when the field first gained traction with regulators and policymakers. RPA has been involved in assessment of natural capital benefits, both in terms of changes in condition of natural assets, and in valuation of ecosystem services benefits that flow from changes to natural assets. We also assist our clients with consideration of potential funding mechanisms to help deliver natural capital opportunities, and can undertake policy analysis to identify which national and local policy may both enhance and hinder opportunities for enhancement of natural capital.

For both water and natural capital, it is vital that consultation and engagement activities are conducted as widely as possible. At RPA, we place particular value on capturing the views of stakeholders that may not typically be consulted, with RPA’s social science expertise allowing for high-quality data to be collected which informs research and policy appraisal.