New_Designation of ‘main rivers’: guidance to the Environment Agency

On 16 November Statutory Guidance was published setting out the basis on which the Environment Agency should decide whether or not a river or watercourse is treated as a ‘main river’.  The prinicpal cirteria in making any decision relates to flooding.  For example, the guidance states, “A watercourse should be a main river if significant numbers of people and/or properties are liable to flood.” Other secondary criteria if changing a designation should ensure the efficiency of the network and whether the alternative parties who would take over the responsibility of managing the watercourse have sufficient competence, capability and/or resources with respect to managment of flood risk.  The complete Statutory Guidance is available on-line at  and the current mapping showing Main Rivers can be found here.