Yes. The Water Framework Directive is a new piece of European legislation which promotes a new approach to water management through river basin planning.
PR09 will cover much of the first cycle of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) River Basin Management Plans (2009-15).
The WFD requires that the Programme of Measures that are in River Basin Management Plans are agreed by the end of 2009 and operational by the end of 2012.
Where there is sufficient evidence, we have identified in the final NEP a number of WFD schemes we would like water companies to undertake in PR09. The largest number of WFD schemes will be in relation to phosphorous and ammonia removal at sewage treatment works.
Where we think more evidence is required, we have identified the need for WFD investigations. For example, there will be investigations into the impact of abstractions on a river basin.
Further investigations will be required for the WFD into heavily modified water bodies. This is not yet in the NEP as we are still developing the proposals with water companies.
All WFD measures in water company business plans will be subject to approval of the River Basin Management Plans. Ministers will approve the plans in December 2009, one month after Ofwat approves price limits.