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Warning over water use after the driest winter for 20 years - WWF comment

Rose O’Neill, Water Policy Manager at WWF, commented on the warning over water use after the driest winter for 20 years

“It is clear from this warning that water supply and the health of our rivers are on a knife edge, after the driest winter in two decades.  Dry weather coupled with over abstraction means that a quarter of England’s rivers are at risk from running low or dry.  The Colne and Chess rivers in Hertfordshire are among many that are already dry. This is bad news for wildlife like trout and water vole, as, when combined with abstraction for public supplies, often means that there is not enough left in the river for wildlife to survive.

“We need to do all we can to reduce water wastage. In 2011, the government promised a reform of the abstraction regime to ensure that it protects wildlife and delivers fair and resilient water supplies. For the last 6 years, WWF and others have been working with government to develop new legislation – a Water Bill which was pencilled in for this year. It’s vital that the next UK Government brings forward legislation to maintain water supply and ensures the nation’s rivers and wetlands are in good ecological health.”

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