Delivering Healthy Water: Building the Science-Policy Interface to Protect Bathing Water Quality


The inception meeting of a newly formed Working Group (photographed below) for this NERC funded Knowledge Exchange (KE) project was held at the Lancaster Environment Centre on Tuesday 11th October 2011. The inception meeting marked the start of an 18 month project designed to exchange knowledge between science providers and users relating to cutting-edge research in microbial quantification techniques for regulatory monitoring of bathing waters.

The project, led by the University of Stirling and supported by Lancaster University and Aberystwyth University, will bring together cross-disciplinary expertise from academic, regulatory, and policy communities and interested organisations and campaign groups concerned with protecting and securing safe bathing water quality. The Working Group includes a core membership of representatives from UKWIR, SEPA, EA, Defra, Bangor University and Surfers against Sewage but will draw on a breadth of knowledge and experience from across the UK and the international community too.

The ultimate aim of the project is to develop a decision-making framework to provide a consistent, comprehensive and co-ordinated strategy to caution or approve future proposals for technology transitions linked to regulatory monitoring of microbial parameters in EU waters. Central to the project is the delivery of three themed workshops in 2012 that will focus on emerging pressures and shifts in microbial quantification techniques for regulatory monitoring.  The workshops will cover ‘science and technological innovation in microbial quantification tools’, ‘the role of molecular tools for catchment management’ and ‘economic challenges linked to regulatory monitoring’. The workshop outputs will enable the Working Group to identify future research requirements to substantiate any areas of current scientific uncertainty by integrating international expertise and formulating high profile briefing documents covering the state-of-the-science.  This will ultimately consolidate the science evidence base for informing European policy. If you are interested in finding out more about this project, please contact Melanie van Niekerk (Project Facilitator) at

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  1. […] on the Delivering Healthy Water Website.