What is the Catchment Based Approach?

From the source of our rivers to the sea, across our towns, cities, countryside and coasts – a healthy water environment is essential to all of us. It provides us with the water we need to live and to run our businesses efficiently. It reduces the risk to our homes and livelihoods of flooding. A healthy water environment means better places to live, where people and wildlife flourish. In the past, management of the water environment has fallen to Government, to private companies and to landowners, often operating in isolation.

The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) embeds collaborative working at a river catchment scale, delivering a range of environmental, social and economic benefits and protecting our precious water environments for the benefit of us all.

The 'CaBA Process', illustrated below, is designed to lead partners through development and implementation of an integrated catchment plan, based on the principle of adaptive management, helping the partners to agree on the best course of action to maximise the natural capital of our catchments.

CaBA process flow diagram

What is a catchment partnership?

Catchment partnerships bring local knowledge and expertise, and are active in each of the 100+ Water Framework Directive catchments across England, including those cross-border with Wales. Numerous organisations and sectoral interests are involved with CaBA nationwide, including Environmental NGOs, Water Companies, Local Authorities, Government Agencies, Landowners, Angling Clubs, Farmer Representative Bodies, Academia and Local Businesses. The CaBA partnerships each undertake integrated management of land and water, addressing each river catchment as a whole and delivering crosscutting practical interventions on the ground. These result in multiple benefits including improvements to water quality, enhanced biodiversity, reduced flood risk, resilience to climate change, more resource efficient and sustainable businesses and, health and wellbeing benefits for local communities as they engage with and take ownership of their local river environment. Due to the diversity of the partnerships, the technical expertise therein and the development of catchment plans – underpinned by robust data and evidence – CaBA partnerships have proven adept at securing project funds from multiple sources: to date, CaBA has leveraged, on average, more than 8 times the initial core investment. The partnerships also have strong convening power, providing a catalyst to bring together a range of sectoral interests and to address land and water management in a strategic manner, at the whole catchment scale. Due to its crosscutting and integrated nature, CaBA provides an ideal framework to support delivery of the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, directly supporting key focus areas identified for action, including: ‘Using and managing land sustainably’; ‘Recovering nature and enhancing the beauty of landscapes’; ‘Connecting people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing’; ‘Increasing resource efficiency, and reducing pollution and waste’.
Read more on the CaBA website
Thanks to Yorkshire Water and Environment Agency for supporting catchment hosting
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The Aire Rivers Trust is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No: 07464227 and a Registered Charity No: 1145609
Registered Office at: 38 Morton Lane, East Morton, Keighley BD20 5RS
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