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The Water Framework Directive (Classification, Priority Substances and Shellfish Waters) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015

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PART 4 F1F2F3N.I.Determining High Status for Morphological Elements

1.  The Department must monitor morphological conditions within relevant water bodies.N.I.

(a)Once the Department has, in accordance with paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 1, assigned a type to a river or part thereof, the Department must consider both direct and indirect pressures on the physical character of rivers at local scale, water body scale and catchment scale. The physical character of a river includes the condition of the channel bed, banks and riparian zone, channel pattern and river continuity. Classification shall be assigned according to the ecological quality ratio in the River Hyrdromorphology Assessment Technique specified in Table 1 of this Part.

(b)Once the Department has in accordance with paragraphs 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 assigned a type to a lake, the Department must consider both direct and indirect pressures on the physical character of lakes in the shore zone and open water. Morphological Condition Limits are used to represent thresholds of alteration in morphological conditions beyond which conditions could be altered in ways that could result in deterioration in status. A Morphological Condition Limit of 5% is the boundary between High Ecological Status and Good Ecological Status and a Morphological Condition Limit of 15% is the boundary between Good Ecological Status and Moderate Ecological Status.

(c)To assess the morphological condition of transitional and coastal water bodies, the Department must consider both direct and indirect pressures on the physical character of transitional and coastal waters at local scale, water body scale and catchment scale.

2.  High Status morphological condition must not be assigned toN.I.

(a)Any water body that has been identified as being at risk of failing to achieve good ecological status due to the extent of morphological pressures; or

(b)Any artificial or heavily modified water body.

Table 1

Boundary values for the River Hydromorphology Assessment Technique
Ecological quality ratio
High>=0.8
Good0.6 - < 0.8
Moderate0.4 - <0.6
Poor0.2 - <0.4
Bad<0.2

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