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  • by Karma Loveday

WildFish launches water resource transparency campaign

Lobby group, WildFish, has launched a campaign to drive greater transparency about, and public awareness of, the ecological cost of water supply sources. It has warned “England is not prepared for drought”.

In a blog, deputy chief executive, Janina Gray and water policy officer, James Overington, argued: “WildFish’s analysis of Water Resource Management Plans (WRMPs) identified a reliance on river and groundwater abstractions over the next 25 years to maintain water supplies. In times of drought, this dependency on rivers and lakes only increases which could be ecologically catastrophic."

The #KeepWaterInRivers campaign includes a variety of actions.

• It has published a series of interactive maps showing supply and demand data across England during a baseline drought, using a traffic light format.

• The group has submitted a letter to the environment secretary requesting improved clarity in water companies’ final WRMPs which are due out later this year. The letter’s principal ask is for WRMPs to accurately convey ‘where our water is coming from’ now and in the future. Gray and Overington argued: “The plans are typically long, technical and data heavy, but lack clarity around over-abstraction, supply deficits and drought measures. Very few members of the public know the plans exist – let alone read them! This allows the true state of our water resources to be masked."

• WildFish is encouraging people to write to their MP, demanding to know where their water is coming from.

The blog added: “Years of underinvestment in supply solutions (reservoirs, water recycling and desalination plants) by the water industry means we must fast track the timelines for supply solutions if we are serious about protecting our rivers and wildlife.” Moreover: “One thing that is clear from the draft WRMPs is personal water consumption reduction will be essential to reduce water supply demands in the future. However, if the public is unaware of the problem and ecological consequences, why would they alter their behaviour to be part of the solution?”


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