‘Speech by Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, World Water Tech Innovation Summit, 22 February 2022

Thank you for inviting me back.

‘………..  Two years ago I said that all of us need to think differently if we are to tackle successfully the new reality of the climate emergency. Today I want to make the same appeal to think differently in order to defuse another ticking time bomb: the water crisis.

In recent months public interest in the state of our waters has surged. This is an unqualified good thing. Water matters: it’s essential for life and everything else. Water quantity and quality is the single biggest X factor for the state of nature. I’m grateful to all the campaigners whose hard work and activism has raised the profile of water. They are right to do so, because ensuring clean and plentiful water is one of the biggest challenges we face, and delivering it – which we can – would be one of the biggest gifts we can give to future generations.

So it’s great that we are talking about water more. What is less good in this lively public debate is that not everything being said is accurate. In the age of social media, fake news and clickbait journalism this is to be expected: it applies to everything, not just water. But if we are serious about protecting and enhancing our waters we need to start with the facts. If we are to frame the right response and leave our environment in a better state than we found it, we need to know what state it is in now.’   Click here to read more

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