Chair: Hannah Freeman, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Information and Policy Coordinator: Jodie Le Marquand, Link
Link’s Blueprint for Water Group continues to engage with Defra on abstraction reform and is encouraging Defra to incorporate long-term strategies to ensure sustainability into the future. This month, Link’s Blueprint for Water group, responded to Defra’s consultation on Improving our Management of Water in the environment.
In February, the #ProtectWater campaign, launched in October, reached over 300,000 signatures. This makes the #ProtectWater consultation the third most-responded to consultation in EU history. This is second only to the number of consultation responses on daylight savings (4.5 million) and the Birds and Habitats Directive (550,000). The Group launched this joint campaign with many eNGOs across Europe, all determined prevent the Water Framework Directive from being weakened. This remains important as the UK leaves the European Union as the Directive will likely be transposed into UK law.
In January, Link’s Blueprint for Water Group published its scorecard: an environmental assessment of the commitments made by water companies within their PR19 business plans. The group has assessed how well it thinks water companies have responded to the ‘Asks’ laid out in Blueprint for PR19, published in May 2017, and whether their performance commitments reflect our priorities for securing a better environment for wildlife and people.
The scorecard builds upon our collaborative work with water companies. In September, the Blueprint for Water coalition - together with nine water companies - launched a set of shared principles. These principles pave the way for cross-sector collaboration to enhance and protect our water environment for the benefit of both people and wildlife. This is the first time water companies have agreed to work together ahead of business plans being published.
Further to work with water companies, the Blueprint group is keen to progress with tangible projects, particularly those which inform future policy or improve resilience. As an example, Blueprint eNGOs will be starting a joint project ‘Naturally Resilient’ in 2019 with a number of companies and regulators looking at the interplay between environmental resilience and resilience within the water sector. The Group continues to work on highlighting the importance of resilience across sectors, as well as working with both the 25 Year Plan and Agriculture Working Groups to ensure water is prioritised within legislation.
For further information, contact Jodie Le Marquand, Link’s Information and Policy Coordinator.
Last updated: 29 March 2019
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