Open consultation

Rationalising the main river network: de-maining proposals


The Environment Agency would like to hear your views on proposals to strengthen local flood risk management by re-designating sections of watercourses.

This consultation is being held on another website.

This consultation closes at

Consultation description

The Environment Agency proposes to transfer flood risk management activities on a number of stretches of watercourses to internal drainage boards (IDBs), lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) and district councils. This means that IDBs, LLFAs and district councils can take on more responsibility for their local flood risk where appropriate. The Environment Agency has been working with a number of IDBs, LLFAs and district councils to consider proposals to re-designate sections of watercourses in a number of locations. The watercourses will be re-designated from main river to ordinary watercourse - a change we refer to as de-maining.

The proposal is to re-designate sections of the watercourse in:

  • Suffolk, East Anglia
  • South Forty Foot Catchment, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire
  • Stour Marshes, Kent and South London

All of these sections of watercourse have low levels of flood risk to people and property, and are not associated with major rivers or major population centres. The proposal is that this will strengthen local decision making. This helps IDBs, LLFAs and district councils to manage these stretches of watercourse and carry out works where they see fit for the benefit of local people.

This consultation explains all of the information in our proposals, including information about how the proposed sections of watercourses are currently managed and funded. The consultation also provides details on future management and funding if de-maining goes ahead.

Published 21 December 2017
Last updated 15 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. The consultation is now live.
  2. South Forty Foot changed to South Forty Foot Catchment
  3. First published.