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PART 5Environmental Objectives and Programme of Measures

Designation of bodies of surface water as artificial or heavily modified bodies of surface water

15.—(1) The Department may designate a body of surface water as artificial or heavily modified if it considers that—

(a)the changes to the hydromorphological characteristics of that body which would be necessary for achieving good ecological status would have significant adverse effects on—

(i)the wider environment;

(ii)navigation, including port facilities, or recreation;

(iii)activities for the purposes of which water is stored, such as drinking water supply, power generation or irrigation;

(iv)water regulation, flood protection, land drainage; or

(v)other sustainable human development activities which the Department considers are of equal importance to the matters in paragraphs (i) to (iv); and

(b)the beneficial objectives served by the artificial or modified characteristics of the water body cannot, for reasons of technical feasibility or disproportionate costs, reasonably be achieved by other means, which are a significantly better environmental option.

(2) When the Department designates a body of surface water as artificial or heavily modified it must—

(a)mention the designation, and the reasons for it, in the relevant river basin management plan for the river basin district or part of each international river basin district falling within Northern Ireland in which that body is located; and

(b)review the designation when reviewing and updating the relevant river basin management plan in accordance with regulation 26.