Defra consultation: 12 March deadline

Improving our management of water in the environment.

About a quarter of our globally rare chalk streams suffer from over abstraction according to EA figures obtained by WWF in 2016. This consultation is an opportunity to remind Defra that we care about the poor condition of our rivers.

The consultation questionnaire is a lengthy document of 31 questions with many of the sections covering areas of little direct interest to our Society – such as coastal erosion.

To help you respond quickly and easily we’d recommend emailing a short response such as this:

I am a member of the Ver Valley Society alarmed by the state of the River Ver and our local chalk streams. It’s staggering that only 14% of rivers in England achieve Good Ecological Status.

In response to the consultation I would like to comment on Question 4: Do you agree that the water resources management planning process should be recognised in legislation as a measure to deliver environmental objectives? Please provide reasons.

Yes, agree with this proposal

I would like to see a stronger biodiversity duty placed on water companies in England to “maintain, restore and enhance biodiversity”, and believe that this would contribute to achieving the ambitions set out in the 25-Year Environment Plan.

Such a requirement should be placed on water companies in England with the objective of restoring natural flows to our rivers, which may then be subsequently supported by habitat enhancement work, re-meandering etc. The current approach by water companies places greatest emphasis on river rehabilitation projects while flows in many rivers remain insufficient.

Email responses should be clearly marked

‘Improving our management of water in the environment – consultation response’

Send to: waterservices@defra.gov.uk (and if you wish please cc johnp@riverver.co.uk)

We worked with The Angling Trust and other groups with an interest in rivers and the environment to provide a full response to this consultation. If you are interested to submit a more detailed reply, the full documentation can be found here: http://bit.ly/2Tgfp3S