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Last edited 08 Apr 2022
A water body is: 'A body of water forming a physiographical feature. In the WFD (Water Framework Directive) this covers: rivers, lakes, transitional waters, coastal waters and groundwater (aquifers).' Ref The SuDS Manual (C753), published by CIRIA in 2015.
Water for life and livelihoods, River basin management plans, Glossary, Published by the Environment Agency in 2016, defines a water body as: ‘A unit of surface water, being the whole (or part) of a stream, river or canal, lake or reservoir, estuary or stretch of coastal water. A groundwater water body is a defined area of an aquifer with geological and hydrological boundaries to ensure consistency and avoid fragmentation.’
It defines a heavily modified water body as: ‘A surface water body that does not achieve good ecological status because of substantial changes to its physical characteristics resulting from physical alterations caused by human use and which has been designated, in accordance with criteria specified in the Water Framework Directive, as ‘heavily modified.’
The glossary of statistical terms, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), defines major water bodies as: ‘Bodies of water large enough to be separately identified from the surrounding land. The size at which a water body can be considered “major” is dependent upon the resolution of the underlying land statistics. With the advent of geographic information systems technology and remotely sensed land statistics, it is possible to collect and manipulate large volumes of detailed land statistics. In countries in which these technologies are available, a “major” water body is likely to be defined to be smaller than in countries with more basic land statistics.’
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