WFD48 Stage 2
July 2005



In order to deliver the ecological objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), regulatory standards are needed that will allow the agencies to determine the ecological flow requirements of UK surface freshwaters. The WFD requires member states to assign water bodies to each type and thence to assign reference conditions to each type, to be used as 'baseline' conditions against which management targets can be set.

The WFD System A typology has been established for the reporting elements of the WFD in the UK, and the UK Technical Advisory Group has begun to define associated reference conditions (UKTAG; 2003). However, there are also a number of existing typologies and classification systems which have been developed both in the UK and overseas, and applied in various river management settings.

The aim of this part of the project is to review typologies and classification systems of relevance to the setting and implementation of environmental flow standards. In this part of the report, some of the general principles behind typologies are discussed, followed by a review of particular typologies with specific consideration of their utility, and limitations, for the particular task of developing a new typology suitable for setting type-based environmental flows for UK rivers. Appendix 1 contains a table which provides a brief synopsis of the river typologies reviewed.


The particular focus of this project is the development of environmental standards for water resources.  In this section addressing lakes, we focus on typologies for lake classification, with a view to the identification and/or modification of typologies which will support the development of methods for assessing the sensitivity of lakes to hydrological pressures.  The section presents a review of existing typologies and discusses implications for the work of this project.

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, in electronic format on CDRom at 20.00 + VAT or hard copy at 25.00, less 20% to FWR members.

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website