SoNaRR2020: Freshwater

This chapter assesses the progress towards the sustainable management of natural resources in freshwater ecosystems

All living things need water to survive, yet globally, freshwater ecosystems are among the most threatened. Rivers, lakes, ponds and floodplains harbour rich biodiversity including some of the most threatened wildlife in Wales such as the freshwater pearl mussel, salmon and water vole.

In Wales, only 44% of rivers are achieving good ecological status under the Water Framework Directive 2018 interim classification. A range of pressures are compromising the health of our freshwater ecosystems, including climate change, pollution, physical modification, abstraction and invasive non-native species.

The sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems is intimately linked with the neighbouring land within their catchments.

Freshwater ecosystems provide important ecosystem services including water supply, renewable energy production, flood management, waste disposal, fisheries and recreation. Balancing the use of these services with one another and the sustainable management of catchments is a significant challenge.

What's available now

The headline messages, through the pressures, impacts and opportunities for action are summarised in the appropriate natural resource register..

What's coming in March 2021

The full chapter will follow in March 2021.

The chapter will present evidence on the state of freshwater ecosystems and the pressures affecting their health. It will discuss the implications of this evidence on ecosystem resilience and ecosystem service provision. It will also describe opportunities for achieving the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems.

A description of additional evidence needed for the assessment will also be published.