The Solent's waters are part of a far wider network of water environments, and to manage water related issues effectively we need to take a wholescale approach to the water environment. To help achieve this, the Solent Forum has developed good reciprocal working relationships with the four main river Catchment Partnerships that drain into the Solent's transitional and coastal waters.
In 2023, Southampton City Council published its Inquiry to identify the various different users and uses of the River Itchen in Southampton and the challenges this presents. It also sought to understand existing plans and opportunities to address the identified challenges, identify good practice being employed to protect, preserve and promote urban rivers elsewhere and look at what initiatives and approaches could work well in Southampton to protect, preserve and promote the River Itchen.
River basin management plans (RBMPs) set out how organisations, stakeholders and communities will work together to improve the water environment. The South East river basin district covers over 10,200km2 and extends from Hampshire in the west to Kent in the east. It includes East and West Sussex, the Isle of Wight and parts of Wiltshire and Surrey. In total over 3.5 million people live and work in the south east, which is densely populated and includes the major urban centres of Southampton, Portsmouth, Ashford, Brighton and Hove. The Plans also help to direct and deliver Environment Agency investment programmes. FRMPs set out how to manage significant flood risk in nationally identified flood risk areas, of which there are two in the Solent area - Southampton and Portsmouth.
Please see our page on RBMPs in our Clean Solent Shores and Seas hub for more information.