ICE PRESIDENT Colin Clinton last week called on civil engineers to take a leading role in implementing the Water Framework Directive.
'The challenge for engineers is to prevent deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and restore surface waters and ground waters damaged by pollution, water abstraction and dams, ' Clinton told delegates at the ICE's river basin management conference in Budapest.
The Directive is also an opportunity for the profession to redress some of the damage created by engineers themselves, he added.
Introduced by the European Commission in 2001, the Directive was adopted into UK legislation in December 2003 (NCE 1 February 2004). It demands that water quality across Europe is improved cost effectively including full consultation with local people and businesses.
'The directive is a real opportunity for engineers who are experienced in engaging with politicians, public sector leaders and local people. We are ideally placed in bringing the stakeholders together, ' he said.
The Environment Agency will introduce the fi rst round of draft plans in 2008, which will include a programme of measures to improve water quality.