Money from fines handed out to water companies that pollute our rivers and seas will be re-invested in schemes that benefit our natural environment, under new government plans.

Water companies were handed a record amount in fines for pollution incidents last year as part of ongoing action to hold rule-breakers to account.

Since 2015, the Environment Agency has concluded 56 prosecutions against water and sewerage companies, securing fines of over £141m.

At present, money from fines imposed by Ofwat and those arising from Environment Agency prosecutions is returned to the Treasury. Under the new plans, ringfenced funds will go to Defra and will be invested directly back into environmental and water quality improvement projects.

This could include initiatives to restore our water environments by creating wetlands, re-vegetating river banks and reconnecting meanders to the main channel of rivers.

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