EA seeks views on water quality

The Environment Agency is asking business and the public for their views on plans to improve water quality across England and Wales.

Public consultation on the agency's draft River Basin Management Plans opened in December but the EA is keen to hear from more stakeholders.

The plans outline how all those with an interest in water quality will be expected to contribute to national efforts to make improvements.

Areas covered include better land management to reduce the agricultural run off that pollutes water courses, water efficiency in homes and business, habitat creation and efforts to reduce industrial water pollution.

The Environment Agency has involved key stakeholders in drawing up the draft plans, working closely with water companies, industry, farmers and local authorities.

It is now urging them to continue their participation through involvement in the consultation process.

Paul Leinster, Chief Executive said: "The water environment faces pressure from people, including through sewage treatment, from agriculture, from industry and from a changing climate.

"We have made significant progress over the last 20 years in improving the quality of waters in England and Wales. Now we need to ensure everyone focuses their efforts to improve the health of water further.

"If we succeed rivers and wetlands will be better places for people, fish, wildlife and for society."

Minister for the Natural and Marine Environment, Wildlife and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies, said: "Water is one of our most valuable resources and it's vital that our rivers and wetlands continue to be protected in the future, particularly as the effects of climate change take hold.

"That's why I would encourage anyone with an interest to put forward their views through this consultation to help us shape the action we will take in the future."

Similar plans are being drawn up across the rest of Europe too as part of the Water Framework Directive.

The consultation until 22 June 2009.

David Gibbs



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