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Chalk Streams need your help as weather hots up!

Friday 6 July 2018

Chalk Streams need your help as weather hots up!

Misbourne_dry_2018_rhbLast Sunday, records for water demand were broken in several towns in Thames Water’s supply area including High Wycombe and Aylesbury.  Affinity Water who also supply water in the Chilterns has also been experiencing very high levels of demand up to 300 Million litres per day above average across their supply area.  Concerned that records for demand will broken again this coming weekend, both companies are calling for their customer’s help to save water.

Although, in general levels of raw water storage are in a healthy position across the country, the unprecedented levels of demand are putting pressure on the environment as more water is being taken from rivers, reservoirs and underground aquifers to maintain supply. This is particularly the case in the Chilterns where the majority of water supplied to local communities is abstracted directly from the chalk aquifer.  As demand increased so does the amount of water that is pumped from the aquifer.  The Chilterns’ rare chalk streams are also reliant on the aquifer for their flow and so the more water that is pumped out to meet public demand the less there is left to supply the rivers.  Allen Beechey, Chilterns Chalk Streams Project Officer says, ‘While the wet spring helped flows in our chalk streams to recover somewhat from their parlous state at the end of last year, flows are declining once more and some rivers like the Ver and Misbourne already have long sections of their courses that are dry’. With the hot weather set to continue into July and little rain forecast in the foreseeable future Allen says, ‘The more water we can now save the better we can help protect these special but fragile rivers and the wildlife that they support’.  

To find out how you can help and be water smart, visit our advice page: https://www.chilternsaonb.org/chalk-streams/save-water.html

Further information on the current water situation can be found here:

https://www.thameswater.co.uk/Help-and-Advice/hot-weather

https://www.affinitywater.co.uk/hot-weather.aspx

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/water-situation-reports-for-england

 

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