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Planning Advice for Integrated Water Management

Integrating water management at the strategic scale of planning and design to achieve sustainable development

Most planners do not think about water issues in a joined-up way, and until now there has been no single source of information on how the water sector works. There is a growing awareness of the important role of planning in joining up land use and water management. But there is a need to get the message across to planners that water is important and getting involved in partnerships to manage water will bring many benefits.

Now, for the first time, all the information on the water sector, including water supply, wastewater disposal, water quality and flood risk management, has been brought together in a single source.

The Planning Advice for Integrated Water Management presents the information in an understandable and accessible way to show planners what is possible and the benefits they can get from engaging with water issues in an integrated way through partnerships with the other bodies involved in water management.

download2  Click download button to access pdf of the Advice Note.

download2  Click download button to access pdf of the Case Studies.


The Advice Note signposts a wide range of other guidance and useful sources, and presents numerous examples of good practice to show what is possible, across the spectrum of water issues. It aims to encourage innovation and empower planners to engage with water issues and deliver multiple benefits.

  • Produced by Peter Bide for the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (with support from industry, Defra, the Environment Agency, the TCPA, CIWEM and CIRIA) the Advice Note covers:
  • How planners in England can work in partnership to take a holistic approach to managing water to achieve multiple benefits for development and local economies, local amenity, public health and well-being, the environment and biodiversity.
  • The water policy framework, highlighting the relevant planning policy and showing how the different areas of policy fit together and who does what.
  • What integrated catchment management and the catchment based approach are and what they do.
  • What is involved in managing surface water and the benefits of getting it right, including links to flood risk management.
  • Constraints on water supply and wastewater disposal, and how to work with water companies and the Environment Agency to integrate water plans with local plans.
  • The tools and approaches planners can use.
  • The sources of supporting information, evidence and data.

This document also contains numerous case studies that illustrate the broad range of sustainable water management techniques and approaches. The case studies are categorised according to the following chapters; benefits of integrating water issues in local planning, integrated catchment management, surface water management, managing water for development, and tools and approaches.