Olivia Blake MP ​sounds alarm for UK's "freshwater emergency" at key WCL report presentation 

Natural Environment, Processed Water, Water Resources

Olivia Blake MP has today spoken about the urgency of tackling the UK's "freshwater emergency" at a live presentation of Wildlife and Countryside Link's Blueprint for Water Vision report.

Supported by 21 organisations the report sets out the decisive action government needs to take to enable the recovery of the UK's water and wetlands.

This centres on three key measures it outlined needs to be mobilised in order for achieve the best vision for our freshwater world.

This is by working to:

  • Recover Biodiversity through large-scale, strategic habitat restoration, protecting and enhancing biodiversity hotspots such as our internationally valuable chalk streams.
  • Drive Down Pollution with an effective and fully resourced monitoring and enforcement regime, driven by ambitious targets to tackle pollution and address the water quality crisis.
  • Re-think our relationship with water to build a sustainable relationship with our blue spaces, delivering climate resilience, water security, and health and well-being benefits for our communities

During the discussion, speakers outlined what they saw as the areas that need to be tackled in order to make some of the above possible.

Environmental Audit Committee chair and IIkley Clean River Group co-founder Professor Rebecca Malby called for a comprehensive public awareness campaign around water usage, mirroring those that have taken place for recycling. The Wildlife Trusts water policy manager and chair Blueprint for Water Ali Morse emphasised the importance of changing building regulations to maximise water efficiency, pairing this with water labelling for white goods such as dishwashers and washing machines.

Olivia Blake MP shone a spotlight on the millions, if not billions, of water we lose each day to leaks and who should be taking responsibility for this. She also reiterated how important it is to make space for nature to hold more water.

The publication of the report comes as The Environment Bill continues to make its way through parliament.

The Bill is mentioned in the report several times. One such mention argues that in the short-term the government should develop clean water targets under the Environment Bill’s target-setting framework 'that build on and exceed Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements and drive holistic catchment-wide action to improve water quality'.

What's your reaction to the report? Share your thoughts on @CIWEM.

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