Affinity Water: Water Resources
Management Plan - Please Respond Today!
Every 5 years Affinity Water has to produce a Water Resources Management Plan. Their latest draft for 2020-2025 was released for public consultation in March with the deadline for responses 23rd May 2018.
We would be pleased if you respond. We would be even more delighted if you to write to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment - details of how to send your response are on Affinity’s page as per the link above.
The VVS committee considers that the future health of the River Ver requires more than Affinity is offering, indeed is probably able to offer. Faced with a rising population in the South East and with substantial housing development looming, we believe more significant changes are needed and sooner rather than later.
There are three key aspects that you might like to use to help frame your response to the Secretary of State:
1 End the over-reliance on groundwater
Affinity’s plans suggest that in the next 5 years, and for the foreseeable future, abstraction of groundwater remains the cornerstone of their water supply. Should a drought be declared, the solution to the problem is the issue of permits that will allow even more groundwater to be taken from the chalk.
I consider that the magnitude of the challenge in the South East requires a co-ordinated regional approach to water, including investment in significant infrastructure projects.
2 Keep Affinity on target and hold them to account
Affinity has bold plans to balance supply and demand which include optimistic targets. The company is projecting a fall in demand for water over the next 5 years. It feels consumer education, an ambitious leak reduction programme and the roll out of water meters - will deliver the significant savings required to balance supply and demand.
It is difficult to have complete confidence in these assertions. I call upon government and its regulators to scrutinise Affinity’s projections in detail, rigorously police them and impose suitable penalties should they prove wide of the mark.
3 Ensure Abingdon Reservoir is built
Looking further ahead, Thames Water is considering building a reservoir near Abingdon. This would mean 100 million litres of water being available daily to Affinity, whose future plans hinge on it. Please bring all pressure to bear to remove any uncertainty and guarantee that the Abingdon Reservoir is built with work starting as soon as possible.
Open Meetings 2018
Tuesday 5th June 2018 at 7.30 pm
Bricket Wood – Dr Brenda Harold - Flowers of the Chilterns t.bc
Tuesday 23rd October 2018 at 7.30 pm
St Michaels - Parish Centre – Our AGM - Rob Rees and Nancy Baume from the EA
All meetings are free entrance to members and non members - If you are coming to one of our meetings please check our newsletter or the web page a few days prior to the meeting in case of any late changes. If you require directions to any of the venues please contact a committee member. (See contacts page). Although our meetings are free entry to members and non members we welcome donations towards the cost of refreshments, hall hire etc. Suggested £2 pp
Discover the River Ver for Yourself
The Discover the River Ver Project has created a series of 8 short walks following the River Ver and exploring the surrounding countryside. These were launched on the 16th May 2011 with the Deputy Mayor of St Albans joining partners and volunteers on a guided walk through St Albans encountering actors telling tails of the River and re-enacting stories from history.
New pages on the website give you a virtual tour of the routes and provides lots more, from peoples memories of the River to local history of the areas that you will explore on the walks.
There are also eight bespoke oak benches which interpret the surrounding area and provide a resting spot to enjoy the view on each of the walks. The walks use public and permissive rights of way and funding has enabled us to improve the surface, remove stiles and replace footbridges to allow for better access in popular areas.
The Discover River Ver Project Team getting up close and personal with the Ver.
The project is a partnership between the Ver Valley Society, Countryside Management Service, Hertfordshire County Council, St Albans City and District Council, local groups and the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project. It has been made possible thanks to a grant of £49,000 secured by the Countryside Management Service from the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund, £13,850 from Lafarge Aggregates Ltd and other key funding from Hertfordshire County Council, Watling Chase Community Forest, St Albans City and District Council, the Ver Valley Society and the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project. In addition a huge amount of volunteer effort has been contributed from the Ver Valley Society - a local voluntary group who have worked for many years to protect, enhance and celebrate the River Ver and its surroundings - and Countryside Management Service volunteers.
The walk leaflets are available to download or from libraries, tourist information centres and council offices.
Find out more about these maps.
Want to be kept informed?
Please send an email to John Fisher if you wish to be informed of future meetings or organised walks etc.
Note: our email list will not be passed to any third parties, and you will receive no more than 10 emails per year.