Groundwater levels in East of England at lowest for nearly 30 years

Latest figures from Anglian Water show groundwater levels in some parts of the East of England are the lowest they’ve been in almost 30 years. Although no usage restrictions are planned for this year, Anglian Water is urging customers to think carefully about their water usage for the rest of the summer and into the coming autumn, to prolong the supplies for as long as possible. Despite some recent heavy downpours, north Norfolk saw only 50% of the average rainfall expected in July, compared to 136% in the west of the region.

Chiltern Chalk streams in crisis

Piles of dead and dying shrimp and fish in the Misbourne at Old Amersham – left stranded by the retreating river – 1.25km lost in 3 weeks. Chalk streams are a facing a fight for survival. A combination of climate change and over abstraction to supply our ever-rising demand for water has left local chalk streams in a dire state. The Chilterns Chalk Streams Project is calling on all those who care about these precious but fragile rivers to act now to highlight their plight and call on government to take action. Find out how you can help…  Read more on Our Chalk streams are in crisis.

Messing about with the river: water firms accused of draining the Cam dry

Guardian ‘It’s a beautiful day on the river Cam in Cambridge. As the sun sparkles on the water at Jesus Green lock, tourists line up for ice-cream and prepare to take a punt around the university’s most celebrated colleges. Few notice how pathetic the flow of water is over the lock.

It is a clear sign that this ancient waterway is faring badly, says Stephen Tomkins, emeritus fellow and former head of the science faculty at Homerton College. “That little bit running through here is the total flow from the whole of south Cambridgeshire,” he says, pointing at an unimpressive trickle. There just is not enough water, he adds: “The river Cam is drying up.” Tomkins chairs the Cam Valley Forum environmental group, which earlier this month sounded the alarm about the Cam with a manifesto that warns that the river can no longer function properly.’

Parts of northern England could run dry by 2035, IPPR report reveals

Natural Assets North: Water in the Northern Powerhouse

Without a reliable and sustainable supply of clean water, and effective and efficient wastewater systems, activity in the Northern Powerhouse would quickly grind to a halt. To date, conversations about the future of the region and its economy have largely taken the North’s water resources for granted.

This is the second in a series of Natural Assets North briefings. It considers the role that water plays in the Northern Powerhouse economy, the degree to which the region is resilient to the impact of climate change and other trends on the supply of water, and implications for policymakers at a local, pan-Northern and national level. It draws on conversations from a series of walk-and-talk events that took place across the North. At each event, issues of water supply and scarcity came up as important themes that policymakers need to grasp urgently.

Natural Assets North is an IPPR North project which investigates the natural potential of the north of England, including the quality of its landscape, water and coastlines. The natural capital of the North is immense, but its full potential is not yet being realised. This work is part of IPPR North’s work on a Great North Plan. Click here to read the report

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