Review of the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP)

Closed 16 Sep 2021

Opened 22 Jul 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Welcome to the consultation pages for the review of the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP).

The WINEP is a programme of actions that water companies will undertake to improve the environment. The actions included in a water company’s WINEP reflect the company’s obligations arising from environmental legislation such as Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations, Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations, Bathing Waters Regulations, and Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations. The WINEP may also contain non-statutory actions.

Water companies include these actions in their business plans so that they can be funded through customer water bills.

The WINEP is currently developed by us and Natural England in consultation with water companies. It focusses on the actions that are required to meet new environmental obligations, or existing environmental obligations where evidence or investigations show that action needs to be undertaken. 

Through the WINEP, water companies have played a crucial role in protecting and enhancing the water environment. The WINEP, and its predecessor the National Environment Programme (NEP), has been the main mechanism for improving the state of the water environment since 1995.

However, despite continued significant investment from water companies, increasing pressures from harmful pollutants, a growing population, and climate change are reducing the effectiveness of the investments made through the WINEP.

These pressures are only likely to increase in future. It is important that we understand how the WINEP can be updated to ensure that every pound invested from customers’ water bills is delivering greater benefits for the environment. Ultimately this will help us to deliver a much-needed step change in the state of the environment.

The following pages sets out our ambition and proposals for long term change to the WINEP.

Each page introduces a proposal we would like your feedback on, as well as providing room for any further comments at the end.

The detailed approach to implementing the proposed changes can be found in the accompanying draft WINEP methodology. 

If you are unfamiliar with any of the terms used in the consultation, you can find a definition of terms Appendix 1 of the draft WINEP methodology. 

Why your views matter

We are seeking your views on the review of the WINEP.

We will use responses to the consultation to revise the WINEP methodology and WINEP roadmap which sets out our plans for long term change.

This information will help ensure the WINEP is developed and delivered consistently across England.  

We will publish the final version of the WINEP methodology and WINEP roadmap in Autumn 2021.

What happens next

Our consultation is now closed. Thank you for your comments and feedback.


  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics
  • All water abstractors
  • Environment Agency customers
  • Net fishing license holders
  • River based salmon angling owners/fishing clubs/organisations
  • Individual migratory salmonid licence holders
  • Business that buy salmon/supported by salmon net and rod fishing
  • Angling trade contacts
  • National based fishery, conservation and landowner organisations
  • Government family organisations
  • IDBs
  • Local authorities
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  • Land owners
  • Farming associations
  • Drainage associations
  • RFCCs
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Water companies
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
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  • Metal recycling trade associations and site operators
  • Operators
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  • Somerset Rivers Authority
  • Members of the public
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  • Regional Flood and Coastal Committees
  • Internal Drainage Boards
  • Engagement specialists/operational staff in Natural Resources Wales, local authorities and other risk management authorities


  • Business and industry
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