The Catchment Data Explorer is designed to help you explore and download information about the water environment used in River Basin Management Plans
You can find catchments and water bodies of interest using a map, or by searching for names, view summary information about catchments, download data and follow links to other useful sites.
There are links in the banner on every page to the useful links, glossary and help pages. You can also report problems or ask questions about the site via the Noticed a problem? link.
Figure 1 - Catchment Data Explorer page banner
You use the map, the links in the table to the right of the map, or the search bar to find the catchments or water bodies you are interested in.
Click an item on the map, to view data about it, and to drill down through the tiers of catchments to water body level. Hovering the pointer over a feature displays its name.
Pan and zoom using the map controls; clicking and dragging on the background pans the map and rolling the mouse wheel zooms the map in and out.
Figure 2 - Interactive map of River Basin Districts
The links in the table to the right of the map on the homepage also allow you to navigate to the river basin district pages, in the same way as clicking on the map.
Use the search boxes to search for river basin districts, management catchments, operational catchments and water bodies by either
Figure 3 - Search boxes that set what you want to search by, and what you want to search for
TIP: Copying and pasting URLs allows you to share your search results.
TIP: Navigate directly to a water body if you know its Water Body ID by constructing a URL in the following format: http://environment.data.gov.uk/catchment-planning/WaterBody/[WaterbodyID] For example http://environment.data.gov.uk/catchment-planning/WaterBody/GB106040018290
The data is organised around a catchment hierarchy, where the larger units contain 1 or many of the smaller units. This runs largest to smallest as follows:
River Basin District > Management Catchment > Operational catchment > Water body
Thames > Cotswold and the Vale > Upper Thames > Thames (Kemble to Waterhay Bridge)
Figure 4 - Diagram showing the hierarchy of River Basin Districts (RBD), management catchments (MC), operational catchments (OC), and water bodies (WB)
Figure 5 - Catchment summary button
Click the summary button on the River Basin District, Management Catchment and Operational Catchment pages to see a brief description of the catchment, a photo and summary statistics about the water bodies within it.
You can search for classifications, objectives and reasons for not achieving good status from the Operational Catchment pages.
Figure 6 - Classification search button
Search for water bodies with classifications that match your search criteria. You can select from 1 or many of the levels in the classification hierarchy using the check boxes. The number of options selected at each level are shown by the numbers in brackets.
Pick the status categories you are interested in from the status box
Figure 7 - Selection boxes for a classification search
Where a classification status value is underlined in the classification search results table, clicking it will open associated reasons for not achieving good, or reasons for deterioration data
Figure 8 - Results table for a classification search
Figure 9 - Objectives search button
The objectives search works in the same way as the classification search, using the same classification hierarchy.
For surface waters, objectives are set for ecological and chemical status. For artificial or heavily modified water bodies, objectives are set for ecological potential and chemical status. For groundwater, objectives are set for quantitative and chemical status.
Water body objectives consist of 2 pieces of information: the status (for example, good) and the date by which that status is planned to be achieved (for example, by 2021).
The status part of an objective is based on a prediction of the future status that would be achieved if technically feasible measures are implemented and, when implemented, would produce more benefits than they cost. The objective also takes into account the requirement to prevent deterioration and achieving protected area objectives.
The date part of an objective is the year by which the future status is predicted to be achieved. The date is determined by considering whether the measures needed to achieve the planned status are currently affordable, and once implemented, the time taken for the ecology or the groundwater to recover.
The water body objectives are:
Where the status is less than good, this means that a less stringent objective has been set.
A predicted outcome is the predicted future status for an element (or water body) in 2021 and in 2027. Predicted outcomes were made using a series of rules or 'planning assumptions'. The predicted outcomes for 2021 and for 2027 were used to derive the status objective for an element or water body.
If the predicted outcome for 2021 is an improvement in status compared to the status in 2015, this prediction is based on confidence that:
Confidence in this context means there is at least a reasonable expectation (more confident than not) that the measures will happen and the outcome will be met.
Use the filter box above the search results table to refine the results. The filter works on whole or partial words, and finds any occurrence in any part of the table. Separating search terms with a space searches across multiple columns. This filter is NOT applied to the data that can be downloaded using the links on the page.
Figure 10 - Results table for an objectives search
Classifications are arranged according to the classification hierarchy, below. The type of water body will dictate what types of classification elements are assessed within it.
Overall Status > ecology > biology > fish
Figure 11 - Classification hierarchy for surface waters
Figure 12 - Classification hierarchy for groundwaters
Figure 13 - Status classifications used for surface waters
Figure 14 - Status classifications used for groundwaters
Figure 15 - Status classifications used for groundwaters
The chemical status classifications in 2015 for cycle 2 can be quite different to those in cycle 2 for 2013 and 2014. These changes are explained by:
Figure 16 - Reasons for not achieving good status search button
Classification elements that are less than good status can have "reasons for not achieving good status" or RNAGs assigned to them. Where an element has deteriorated (i.e. the status is thought to be getting worse), reasons for deterioration, or RFDs, may be assigned.
An RNAG or RFD records the source, activity and sector involved in causing an element to be at less than good status.
Use the reasons for not achieving good search to find corresponding RNAGs and RFDs in an operational catchment. The filters can be used to select RNAGs and RFDs for particular classification elements, and to filter by pressure (applies to RNAGs and RFDs for biological elements only), SWIMI (Significant Water Management Issue), activity, category and business sector.
Figure 17 - Reasons for not achieving good search filters
Measures are the actions which will be taken on the ground to help achieve Water Framework Directive objectives. They are brought about by a range of legal, policy or financial mechanisms and involve numerous sectors.
Catchment Data Explorer contains only the measures which have been used to predict improvements in status by 2021 for specific elements in specific water bodies.
These measures are part of the main programmes of measures for 2021 outcomes, described in section 3.3 of Part 1 of the river basin management plan.
There are other measures which will happen by 2021 but there is not enough confidence (in location or scale of improvement) to predict specific outcomes. These measures are not currently in the Catchment Data Explorer but can be downloaded here (https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/data.defra.gov.uk/WaterQuality/wfd/Measures_Information.zip).
Measures are based on best available information, and specific measures are subject to change. There may be opportunities over the next few years to protect and improve the local water environment using different measures to those listed. Change will also occur for a variety of reasons including, new evidence, changes in water body status, funding availability, government policy changes, development impacts and climate change.
Figure 18 - Measures search button
Download the results of the classifications, reasons for not achieving good, and objectives search as Comma Separated Value (CSV) text files. These are suitable for use in most spreadsheet programs. It is also possible to download these datasets for a whole river basin district, management catchment or operational catchment, without having to conduct a search.
Figure 19 - Data download links
For each water body, there is a detailed water body page.
The context map shows the outline of the water body, shaded to match the overall status for the latest year that the water body was classified. Surrounding water bodies are also shown on the map.
Clicking the map displays a list of surrounding water bodies and catchments. Click an item from the list to open the page for the selected water body or catchment.
Figure 20 - water body context map
You can pan the map by clicking and dragging. Double click to zoom in. You can also use the map controls (figure 21).
Figure 21 - map controls
The default view of the classifications data is like this:
Figure 22 - default view of the classification table
Click the arrows to the left of each row in the classifications table to expand the table and view more detailed data.
Figure 23 - expanded view of the classification table
Use the show button next to the cycle 1 classification heading to show the classifications from the first river basin management planning cycle. Clicking hide closes the table again.
Figure 24 - show and hide the older cycle's classification data
These investigations are carried out to improve our confidence that any classification failure or deterioration in status is associated with a genuine environmental problem.
Figure 25 - table of investigations into classification status
Shows the RNAGs and RFDs that we believe are impacting the classification elements in this water body.
Figure 26 - table of RNAGs and RFDs
There is an objective for each classification item assessed or calculated for this water body.
Figure 27 - table of objectives
On the water body pages the protected areas table shows the protected areas that are associated with water bodies. Clicking on any underlined entries in the PA Name and the More Information columns link to other sources of information on the protected area in question, for example opening Natural England's Designated Sites viewer.
The links between protected areas and water bodies are downloadable as .csvs from the water body pages and the River Basin District, Management Catchment and Operational Catchment pages.
Figure 28 - table of protected areas
Open data is data that's available to everyone to access, use and share. Want to know more, see what is open data and why should we care?
Open data from the Environment Agency is often made available under the Open Government Licensing Framework and the version of the Open Government Licence that is current at the time of issue.