Use RBMPs if you need:
- information on the plan for the protection and improvement of the water environment
- to know how future plans may affect an industry sector and its obligations
- to ensure a development proposal considers the requirements of the RBMP
- to apply for an environmental permit
- to contribute to the delivery of the plan or maximise potential funding for a project
These are the current river basin district (RBD) RBMPs. They are an update to the first plans published in 2009.
See the 2009 river basin management plans.
A RBD covers an entire river system, including river, lake, groundwater, estuarine and coastal water bodies. We design the RBD RBMPs to protect and improve the quality of our water environment. Good quality water is essential for wildlife, agriculture and businesses to thrive. It boosts regeneration (both structural and economic), recreation and tourism.
Learn about the consultation and engagement methods we used for the review and the update to the RBMPs in the record of consultation and engagement.
The RBMPs support the government’s framework for the 25 year environment plan and will allow local communities to find more cost-effective ways to take action to further improve our water environment.
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has approved the RBMPs. They were prepared in line with ministerial guidance and the legal requirements that applied at the time.
Update to the RBMPs
The Environment Agency must review and update RBMPs every 6 years.
Their review and update of the current RBMPs is underway. The consultation of the draft RBMPs is open for responses. It runs from 22 October 2021 to 22 April 2022.
The Challenges and Choices consultation (the second of 3) ran between 24 October 2019 and 24 September 2020. You can:
The Working Together consultation (the first of 3) ran between 22 June and 22 December 2018. You can:
Find more information on the consultations on the Environment Agency’s river basin planning consultation website.
Strategic environmental assessment
The Environment Agency has concluded that the requirement for a strategic environmental assessment for the current review of the river basin management plans can be screened out. This is under the justification of minor modifications to the existing plans. You can read more in the screening report River basin management plans: use of strategic environmental assessment screening. This screening decision will be reviewed a part of the ‘habitats regulations assessment’.
Habitats regulation assessment
A habitats regulation assessment of each updated river basin management plan will be carried out to consider if the updated plan is likely to have a significant effect on any European site protected areas. The assessment will be undertaken by the Environment Agency in consultation with Natural England. They will publish the results with the updated plans.
Links with the flood risk management plans and the marine strategy
Flood risk management plans (FRMPs) set out how organisations, stakeholders and communities will work together to manage flood risk.
RBMPs and FRMPs provide an integrated approach to catchment planning for water. Working together to achieve the objectives and measures in the plans will bring benefits to human health and wellbeing.
A consultation on the draft flood risk management plans 2021 to 2027 is running for 3 months from 22 October 2021, to coordinate with the 6 month consultation on draft river basin management plans.
There are strong links between RBMPs and the UK’s marine strategy which implements the Marine Strategy Regulations 2010. Measures in the RBMPs will contribute to achieving good environmental status in the UK seas.
Shoreline management plans (SMPs) provide a coastal policy framework. RBMPs and SMPs work together to support a sustainable approach to water and erosion management at the coast.
See the UK’s Marine Strategy Part 3: programme of measures.
RBMPs in England, Wales and Scotland
Use the map to find your RBD.
There are 11 RBDs in England and Wales. The Environment Agency manages the 7 RBDs in England.
Natural Resources Wales manage the Western Wales RBD. NRW and the Environment Agency jointly manage the Dee and Severn RBDs. See the RBMPs for Western Wales and Dee on the Natural Resources Wales website.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Environment Agency jointly manage the Solway Tweed RBD. See the Solway Tweed RBMP on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website.