Catchment Partnership Bristol Avon
About the partnership
The Bristol Avon catchment partnership (BACP) comprises a range of organisations, groups, authorities and individuals dedicated to working together to improve the water environment and provide wider benefits for people and nature at a catchment scale - known as a catchment based approach (CaBA).
Formed in 2012 with support of central government, the partnership has produced a catchment plan to work towards achieving a better water environment for all.
The Bristol Avon catchment encompasses the North Somerset coastal streams and the Lower Severn Vale sub catchments.
The water environment
The water environment includes all rivers, streams and wetlands that drain within the catchment landscape. It also includes all the different types of landscape that we build on, cultivate and modify; all of these human interventions have an impact on the water cycle and can, for example, lead to an increased risk of pollution leaching in to our watercourses and ground water aquifers.
Why do we need to work in partnership?
The government aims to ensure all waterbodies in England meet good ecological status by 2027. Any waterbody that does not meet good ecological status is classified as failing under the European Union’s Water Framework Directive.
These are just some of the water-based challenges within the Bristol Avon catchment that can be addressed more effectively by working together:
Only 11% of the catchment is classified as having ‘good ecological status’.
Although this is typical of other catchments in the UK, it demonstrates the scale of the challenge to meet the Water Framework Directive targets.
89% fail to meet the targets.
Due to factors including physical modification, phosphate levels, sediment load and low fish populations. Some landowners are losing valuable topsoil, nutrients and pesticides. Due to erosion, run-off or leaching; sometimes linked to poor soil structure and compaction
Heavy rainfall running off rural and urban areas causes surface water and river flooding in specific locations.
Tidal flooding continues to be a threat in the lower reaches of the catchment.
What is the Bristol Avon catchment partnership?
BACP is one of over 100 catchment partnerships across England to support the CaBA which embeds collaborative working at a river catchment scale to deliver cross-cutting improvements to our water environments.
BACP is supported by a steering group and there are also various project task groups who meet regularly to develop and deliver partnership projects from across the catchment. In 2018/19 the BACP is being co-hosted by Wessex Water and the Bristol Avon Rivers Trust (BART).
The governance structure of BACP is currently being updated - a new terms of reference document will be available shortly.
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