European surface water management not ‘bananas’

The European Commission's unfortunate attempts to define the dimensions of a banana were used to highlight recent surface water management studies.

The EC, who once stated under regulation 2257/94 a ‘banana’ was not a banana unless it was ‘free of abnormal curvature’ and a ‘minimum 14cm’ long, made surface water management seem like a breeze.

Dutchman Jaap Flikweert, of Royal Haskoning, was speaking about ‘the floods directive and surface water management: implications from recent studies’.

Talking at the event, organised by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), Mr Haskoning said surface water management ‘is different’ from bananas.

But, but using an EC diagram of what was officially a banana he explains the public’s confusion of what can be seen as Brussels bureaucracy.

He said: “The first directive doesn’t set standards or define the role, it does prescribe a way to do things.

“The role for the EA (Environment Agency) to co-ordinate things, both the technical side and the geographical is going to be an important one.

“And will need to be defined in an appropriate way.”

Luke Walsh

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