Acting Chair: Ali Morse, The Wildlife Trusts
Link: Ellie Ward, Policy and Information Coordinator
Link’s Blueprint for Water Group works on freshwater policy issues and current work prioritises environmental resilience, sustainable abstraction, water quality and agricultural pollution (through joint work with Link’s Agriculture group.
Long-awaited water quality data was finally released in September, revealing that 0% of river, lakes and streams are classed as in good health in England, despite a target for all waters to be in good health by 2027. When figures were last published in 2016, 16% of waters were classed as good. We need the Government to ensure we have the legal commitments, high standards, pollution prevention and funding to turn the tide for our rivers. Link highlighted the issue through media work which resulted in the story featuring in almost every national newspaper.
In August, Blueprint wrote an open letter to the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency highlighting our key concerns from his recent speech, surrounding the Water Framework Directive. In light of growing public concern about water pollution, over-abstraction of sensitive rivers and streams, and serious ongoing shortcomings in water quality, we strongly believe that any weakening of Water Framework Standards would be a backward step. Read the full letter here.
In July, Blueprint for Water published its ‘Naturally Resilient’ report, jointly coordinated and funded by water companies and the Environment Agency. There is no doubt that the water environment and water sector are intrinsically linked. The evidence is available but we now need a legislative and policy framework to match; that pushes for environmental ambition as opposed to stymieing.
In June, Blueprint published their Changing Courses document, detailing how the 25 Year Environment Plan commitments could be used to deliver for the water environment. Find our recommendations here. The group are currently working on their Blueprint for Water ‘vision’, which will sit above this document and set out what needs to be delivered for a better future for our water environment.
For further information, contact Ellie Ward, Link’s Policy and Information Coordinator.
Last updated: 30 November 2020
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