In order to understand what work needs to be done we had to identify the different types of water bodies.
Some water bodies will have natural characteristics that make them much more sensitive to pressures and risks than others, for example some mountain streams are very vulnerable to acidification. Under the Water Framework Directive the water body will be the unit for which environmental objectives are set.
The water bodies that we have identified may be entire lakes, parts of lakes, parts of rivers and streams, estuaries, coastal waters, or groundwater.
Surface waters are categorised into different types according to their physical and chemical characteristics. The types indicate, in very general terms, the sorts of plants and animals likely to be present in undisturbed conditions.
Some surface water bodies and wetlands depend on groundwater to sustain them. Groundwaters are categorised by aquifer type. This categorisation is important in deciding the environmental objectives that are set for each water body and formed part of the first river basin characterisation exercise.
Protected areas have also been identified. These are protected for their use (such as drinking water or fisheries) or because they have important habitats and species that directly depend on water.
These links will give you detailed information about the different types of waterbodies that we have identified. There is also some detailed technical information about each type of waterbody.