Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessments

The brief

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) came into force in 2000 and requires all navigational dredging and/or disposal activities located within water bodies to undergo a WFD assessment. Thomson Unicomarine was commissioned to undertake a WFD assessment for a proposed maintenance dredging campaign in the Thames Estuary.

What we did

We completed a WFD assessment in line with the Environment Agency’s (EA) ‘Clearing the Waters’ guidelines.

We used publicly available data and chemical analysis from recent sediment sampling to assess the impacts of using water injection dredging to maintain the berth depth in the water body.

The report was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation to support the marine licence application.

Recommendations and outcomes

Thomson Unicomarine concluded that using water injection dredging for this maintenance dredge campaign was unlikely to have a significant adverse impact on the water body or the WFD objectives. The report was well received by the EA which has used it to illustrate what it would like to see included in all WFD assessments from now on.

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