28 November 2006: Radical action needed for water Print


For more information please visit www.blueprintforwater.org.uk


An unprecedented coalition of environmental and angling groups has produced a ten-point plan of action to secure a healthy water environment for people and wildlife.

The grouping, which represents more than six million people, will hand its Blueprint for Water to Environment Minister, Ian Pearson, in the House of Commons today (Tuesday, 28 November) and will be watching closely to determine whether the Government is making progress on the 10 points of action.

“We are setting out a clear programme of action the Government must take in order to meet agreed European standards for water management by 2015,” said Paul King, Director of Campaigns at WWF-UK, on behalf of the coalition.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reverse the neglect of our water resources and freshwater environment."

“Providing enough clean, safe water is becoming ever more difficult and expensive and climate change is increasing the challenge.”

The Blueprint outlines the steps needed to slash the amount of water wasted in homes and businesses. It also calls for a huge increase in the currently low-level of fines for water pollution and the creation of a fund to help urban and rural communities restore river catchments.

Paul Knight, Executive Director of the Salmon and Trout Association, said: “Britain's four million anglers and the billions they generate for local economies, depend on healthy water ecosystems.

“Managing our water better has great benefits for wildlife, for fish and for jobs - we can no longer afford to misuse such a priceless resource.”

Graham Wynne, Chief Executive of the RSPB said: “Water, rivers and wetlands have helped shape our nation, our wildlife and the way we think about ourselves.

“Yet today many of our waterways are devoid of the fish, plants and animals they once supported, our wetlands have been lost and our rivers are polluted and over-abstracted."

“Unless things change the country will become increasingly parched and lifeless and we will all end up paying far too high a price for the shameful way we use and abuse our water.”