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Edward Hallett

BSc (Hons) Applied Geography, Bournemouth University, 2004

A Critical Analysis of the Implications of the Water Framework Directive for a Small Urban Watercourse - The Bourne Stream


A critical assessment of the implications of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) for a small urban watercourse - the Bourne Stream in Poole and Bournemouth was undertaken. Secondary data was available for the majority of the general physico-chemical quality elements of the WFD, and limited data on the biological quality elements was available. A stream survey was designed to assess the hydromorphological quality elements and so a general assessment of the stream under the new legislation was conducted.

The stream, which has been responsible for occasional reductions in water quality at Bournemouth beach where it flows from an outfall, was shown to have major changes to its morphology and to some extent its hydrology. The physico-chemical general elements were shown to be variable, probably due to the large number of outfalls that run from the surrounding development to the stream.

The stream was provisionally split into two water bodies under the WFD. The first section was designated as a natural water body due to fewer morphological changes and the spatial extent of protective designations such as Ramsar designation. The second section was provisionally designated as a Heavily Modified Water Body, due to large stretches of culverting and channel modifications.

Issues raised included the influence of adjacent water bodies in running waters, the reliance on typology, urbanisation as an important sustainable human activity, and the need for reference conditions for Heavily Modified Water Bodies.

Download paper (PDF 1.7MB)

Contact the author: ed_hallett@hotmail.com

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