Apologies for the delay in publishing this … an oversight. This is the collective Chalk Streams First response to the Thames Water WRMP. It will be quite involved for the lay reader, so read my jargon-busting blog if it helps.
The key point, I feel, is that although abstraction reductions are now on the agenda, they are very much back-loaded towards 24040 / 2050 and beyond: take a look at the chart I have made up on the second page of the letter.
They don’t need to be. We have transfer schemes and ideas like Chalk Streams First that, with political backing, could be unrolled in a much tighter timeframe.
Chalk streams have waited far too long. If you can get your hands on the latest copy of Classic Angling, there is a very moving piece on the River Darent, once a mecca for London’s fly anglers: it makes you realise what we have lost … and what we have so long to wait for to return.
It is true that groundwater abstraction is empirically lower now than in the late 1980s. But we’ve reduced abstraction from such very high peaks, the gains are barely discernible when abstraction still remains far too high.
3 thoughts on “Chalk Streams First response to Thames Water WRMP”
I’d like to mention the River Mole catchment in wider Thames Water region. I understand we have no iconic chalk streams in Mole catchment, sandwiched between our bigger neighbours Wey and Medway. However we have some minor chalk streams (Rye), and the Mole through the Mole Gap is identified as a chalk stream (not on strict criteria Im sure but is on the SERT map). Importantly our water-only co SESW obtains a huge 85% of supply from aquifers, the rest imported from Bough Beech resv in Medway catchment. Potentially this must have a big impact on our aquifers.. greensand and chalk. SESW have similar abstraction reduction plans from boreholes in the Mole catchment though I’m not sure how this would impact our rivers. I’d be interested to know how this huge abstraction impacts our catchment as there’s not much out there on this. Thanks for your incredible work and detailed technical blog.
Hi there, thanks for the interesting message (and for following the blog!). The Rye was identified for us by someone … was it you? There must be some other streams and springs along the spring-line at base of the chalk, either side of Dorking, but I just don’t know to what degree these would be influenced by SESW abstraction, or the Mole itself. Best wishes, Charles.
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thank you, yes there are minor chalk streams identified as rising from the base of the scarp, for example between Dorking and Reigate. I’ll try going through SESW to find out and let you know. best wishes Simon