Meet the people who make it happen

There are a number of Working Groups underpinning the work of the National Steering Group and National Support Team, who each focus on a particular issue, such as Data and Evidence, Urban Water Management, Agriculture and Abstraction. If you would like to join one of our working groups, please get in touch.

Find out what our working groups are all about below:


Catchment Data User Group

The Catchment Data User Group (CDUG) plays a critical role in providing ‘open’ data, information and evidence to catchment partnerships nationwide, enabling them to determine priorities for action, identify cost-effective interventions and develop robust high-quality catchment plans.

In addition to the release of a range of support tools, CDUG has distributed the CaBA data package, encompassing more than 150 GIS data layers, to all partnerships, and has published many of these as online Open Data services for use in web GIS. The work of CDUG is closely aligned to that of the mentoring (capacity building) team.

The Catchment Data & Evidence FORUM is an annual event which aims to bring together the widest possible community of practitioners and  identify the key barriers and opportunities that CDUG should focus on. A summary of the 2018 FORUM is available here

If you are interested in joining Catchment Data User Group please contact Michelle Walker.

Urban Water Group

The CaBA Urban Water Group (CUWG) champions a collaborative, partnership approach to urban water management, engaging and raising awareness across a range of key stakeholders to drive improvements to water quality and biodiversity, reduce flood risk, enhance health and well-being and build community cohesion.

The CUWG supports CaBA partnerships nationwide by helping them to build capacity and expertise and to engage more effectively with key stakeholders, including local authorities, communities, businesses and developers, on urban water management issues, driving collaborative delivery on the ground. CUWG is helping to drive the delivery of urban water management under the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan, including through the promotion of green-blue infrastructure and the multiple benefits that can be realised.

The group is chaired by Peter Bide (formerly of DGLC) with a membership encompassing Environmental NGOs (Rivers Trusts, Groundwork, Wildfowl and Wetland Trust), Environment Agency, Natural England, Local Government and CIRIA.

The group frequently runs workshops to bring together key players in the urban water management sector to explain the multiple benefits of an integrated and collaborative approach to urban water management and showcase examples of its successful implementation.  The CUWG also works closely with the Local Action Project that seeks to enhance the natural capital in our towns and cities to improve people’s lives, the environment and economic prosperity.

In addition to producing guidance championing collaborative Urban Water Management, CUWG has also supported the production of the Lewisham Council led guidance note for planners and contributed to the University of Cambridge ‘Planning Advice for Integrated Water Management’ authored by Peter Bide. Additionally, the group has supported publication of a guide for catchment partnerships seeking funding for urban delivery projects.

Contact Peter Bide:

See the list of helpful guidance and case studies created by the Urban Water Group here.


Biodiversity Working Group

The CaBA Biodiversity Group supports catchment partnerships in their delivery of water and wetland biodiversity projects.

It aims to:

  • Promote effective restoration measures and best practice management
  • Ensure Catchment Partnerships can access & utilise biodiversity data to prioritise their activities.
  • Highlight opportunities for delivery against WFD and Biodiversity 2020 and 25 year plan targets through the Catchment Based Approach
  • Understand the barriers faced, and showcase the good practice work that Catchment Partnerships deliver.

The Group also performs a parallel function as the Water & Wetlands Group, a sub-group of the Terrestrial Biodiversity Group. The TBG is a national partnership set up to facilitate the delivery of Priority Habitat and Species outcomes under the Government’s Biodiversity 2020 strategy. The sub-group’s work includes promoting national aims & targets for wetland priority habitats and species amongst local delivery groups, including Catchment Partnerships – its existence as TBG’s only habitat-focussed working group is a testament to the important opportunities that CaBA presents for progressing biodiversity delivery across our catchments.

Take a look at some of the resources created by the group here.

The group is chaired by Glen Cooper from Natural England.

Benefits Working Group

The Benefits Working Group provides Catchment Partnerships with guidance, resources and skills for the monitoring, evaluation and reporting of their performance, outputs and delivery outcomes, particularly with respect to the wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits realised through collaborative working – Robust monitoring and evaluation is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of CaBA.

The group has designed a reporting template to capture evaluation and benefits realised for each partnership nationwide. This issued to determine the direction of travel of CaBA nationwide, identify capacity building and training needs and champion the initiate to a wide range of key stakeholders.

The group is also working to a longer-term nationally agreed framework for valuing/evaluating/reporting multiple benefits for a Natural Capital approach with the goal of providing a framework, methods and guidance that is bespoke for CaBA partnerships.

The group is chaired by Nick Paling

Abstraction Working Group

The Abstraction (Water Resources) Working Group was established to ensure that catchment partnerships are supported to integrate water resources management into a wider programme of integrated catchment planning and delivery.

The working group has a particular aim of supporting the implementation of the Defra/EA Abstraction Plan that includes a commitment to a stronger catchment focus on abstraction management. The group is supporting the testing of new management approaches in some initial priority catchments but will be looking to broaden the impact and knowledge of the group’s activities across all catchments in England.

The Group is co-chaired by Owen Turpin (EA) and Barry Bendall (RT).

Agriculture Working Group

The Agriculture Working Group champions and demonstrates the role of catchment partnerships in the development and delivery of agricultural land management that benefits both the environment and farm business.  This includes a focus upon approaches that realise multiple benefits, for example, with respect to water quality, flood risk, air quality and biodiversity.

The Group also provides for knowledge exchange, disseminating best and innovative practice across CaBA including Defra and the industry, and sharing developments in agricultural policy (e.g. Farming Rules for Water) with catchment partnerships.

The Group is chaired by Chris Ryder  and Alex Inman

Read guidance, developed by the group, on engaging the rural sectors in CaBA here.

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