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Blueprint for Water

Blueprint for Water seeks to restore the ecology of the UK’s rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands by seeking improvements to water policy at an England level. The coalition campaigns for the five goals to sustainable water.

Chair: Ian Hepburn, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Vice-Chair: Ali Morse, The Wildlife Trusts
Information and Policy Coordinator: Jodie Le Marquand, Link

Update from the group:

Link’s Blueprint for Water Group works on freshwater policy issues and current work prioritises environmental resilience, sustainable abstraction, water quality and agricultural pollution, whilst working jointly with Link’s Agriculture working group.

The Group continues to engage with water companies, Ofwat and environment agency, in light of draft determinations for PR19 being published earlier in July. It also continues conversations with Defra and other relevant bodies on abstraction reform and is encouraging Defra to incorporate long-term strategies to ensure sustainability into the future. In March, Link’s Blueprint for Water group, responded to Defra’s consultation on Improving our Management of Water in the environment. In June, Blueprint Chairs sent a briefing to Customer Challenge Groups, encouraging them to keep the water environment at the heart of what they stand for.

Further to earlier work with water companies, such as the Group’s environment scorecard and shared principles campaign, the Blueprint group is keen to progress with tangible projects, particularly those which inform future policy or improve resilience. In June, Blueprint eNGOs started work on the joint ‘Naturally Resilient’ project, with a number of companies and regulators looking at the interplay between environmental resilience and resilience within the water sector. This project will continue into early 2020 and the Group will use this research and final report to continue work highlighting the importance of resilience across sectors.

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, only trailing 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.

The Group continues to work 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: 31 July 2019

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