Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for tackling water pollution in England

new government priorities | OEP report | Water Framework Directive | delivering healthy & sustainable water | water quality | regulation & enforcement | considering consumers & public use of waterways

Morning, Wednesday, 18th September 2024


This conference will assess latest developments and next steps for tackling water pollution in England.

It will be a timely opportunity for delegates to discuss the new Government’s priorities for policy, with the new Secretary of State announcing the cleaning up of Britain’s rivers, lakes and seas as one of five core priorities for DEFRA.

In assessing the way forward, we expect delegates to draw on the Office for Environmental Protection’s recently published review of Implementation of the Water Framework Directive Regulations and River Basin Management Planning in England. The Chair of the OEP, Dame Glenys Stacey, is a keynote speaker at this conference.

The OEP report raised concerns around the implementation of regulations designed to protect rivers, and found that progress is not on track to meet objectives under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which was transposed into UK law following Brexit.

Stakeholders and policymakers will examine the report’s findings and recommendations, what will be needed for commitments on improving water quality to be met, and the roles and responsibilities of those involved, looking at key issues around the implementation of legally and time-bound targets, monitoring, updating research and economic analysis, and improving public communication and consultation.

Delegates will assess key issues and priorities for the water sector, including investment, priorities for enabling the delivery of healthy and sustainable water, and the implementation so far of the Plan for Water in the last Parliament.

Further session focus on the future of regulation, including Ofwat’s future strategy.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Dame Glenys Stacey, Chair, Office for Environmental Protection; Helen Wakeham, Director of Water, Environment Agency; and Daniel Walker-Nolan, Director, Policy, Water UK.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • the OEP report: key findings and recommendations - what will be needed to meet WFD aims - policy and stakeholder priorities - addressing funding concerns
  • lessons learnt from the Plan for Water and future policy options: options for improving clarity - setting deadlines - delivery and governance mechanisms to secure accountability and achieve outcomes - monitoring and sanctions
  • regulation: assessing options for supporting water quality, tackling pollution and enforcement - assessing potential emerging threats, including new chemicals - implications for regulation 
  • delivering healthy and sustainable water: investment priorities - stakeholder responsibilities - frameworks for effective collaboration between government, regulators, advocacy and the sector
  • innovation: supporting R&D and the rollout of technology in addressing pollution such as AI-driven pollution monitoring and advanced water treatment systems
  • consumer and public priorities: keeping England’s waters safe for consumption and swimming - achieving clearer communication - consultation and improving involvement of the public
  • integrated Catchment Action Plans: priorities for collaboration and implementation - lessons learnt so far from the trialling of a catchment-based approach to water management

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from Defra; FSA; NIC; DfT; and the Welsh Government.

The proceedings of the conference will be circulated more widely, to Parliamentarians, ministerial offices, and government and regulatory officials with an interest in the issues being discussed. All delegates will also receive a video recording of the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Dame Glenys Stacey

Chair, Office for Environmental Protection

Helen Wakeham

Director of Water, Environment Agency

Daniel Walker-Nolan

Director, Policy, Water UK

Keynote Speakers

Daniel Walker-Nolan

Director, Policy, Water UK

Dame Glenys Stacey

Chair, Office for Environmental Protection

Helen Wakeham

Director of Water, Environment Agency


Councillor Sandra Squire

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council & Coastal Water Quality Member Champion, Coastal Special Interest Group, Local Government Association

Catherine Moncrieff

Policy and Engagement Manager, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management

David Hull

Chief Executive, HydroSurv

Kat Broadhead

Principal Advisor, Water, Natural England

Dr Diane Mitchell

Chief Environment Advisor, National Farmers Union

Stuart Singleton-White

Head of Campaigns and Advocacy, Angling Trust

Dr Sasha Woods

Director, Science and Policy, Earthwatch Europe

Andy Salmon

Chief Executive Officer, Swim England

Zoe Pikramenou

Professor, Inorganic Chemistry and Photophysics, University of Birmingham