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Water Appeal

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Water Appeal Reply with quote

Dear Fellow Complete Fishers,

I hope you will not find my post out of place on the forum but there's a couple of rivers that could do with your help.

I live close to and work regularly over in South West Wiltshire on the rivers Till and Wylye. The current drought conditions are having a serious impact on water levels in the river and all associated flora and fauna is starting to struggle. Wessex Water is still refusing to impose a hosepipe ban even though our rivers in West Wiltshire are still critically low.
Wessex Water are abstracting huge amounts of water from a natural chalk aquifer on Salisbury plain and pumping it miles away to places like Taunton and Bath to supplement local supplies. It just so happens that water filtered naturally through chalk is relatively clean and needs minimal treatment before it is potable. In a nutshell this practice is mainly profit driven. For whatever reasons, they don't seem to want to spend money on better water capture/ storage facilities nearer the two towns mentioned above. Even though both towns lie within areas that do not struggle for water supplies due to their geographic locations. All this in the light of millions of pounds of profit made year in year out.
I could go on but I'll get off the soap box now.... and just ask if you would please copy and paste the following letter and send it to the either the email or postal address below, the river and its inhabitants, would be really grateful.

Thanks so much for your help.


Dear Wessex Water,

I am writing as a one of your customers and as someone who has become increasingly concerned about the lack of water in our internationally protected chalk based rivers, particularly the Rivers Wylye and its tributaries. Even when we have a good wet winter, which recharges the chalk aquifer fully, the flow rates are usually very poor by the end of every summer and considerably below the environment agency’s long-term average for recorded river flows.

The current protracted drought that we are experiencing is adding to the already significant impact of damaging levels of abstraction from the Wylye’s catchment for public water supply and is making the situation very much worse.

Recent announcements in the national news that other Water Companies slightly further East have seen fit to introduce water restrictions as a result of very low rainfall and diminishing water supplies have made me and all those in this region concerned with the welfare of Wiltshire’s chalk rivers ponder the question – why have Wessex Water not followed suit?

There is absolutely no doubt that water resources in this region are equally as much “in drought” as those further east.

The Environment Agency monthly Hydrology data shows this very clearly.

The mean monthly flow for Nov 2011 at South Newton on the Wylye was the lowest on record.
The groundwater levels in the Tilshead aquifer, seen as the major indicator for base flows for the Upper Avon and Wylye – were their lowest February levels since 1976.
8 out of the last 12 months in this region have had below average rainfall.
The 5 month recharge period of Oct 2011 to Feb 2012 only received 68% of the average rainfall, resulting in the lowest recharge since 1992 and the 9th lowest since 1914.
The mean monthly flows as a % of long term average in the Wylye at South Newton have shown a very worrying downward spiral since Nov 2011 as shown below. The figure for Feb is the lowest of all the rivers shown on the Environment Agency’s Water Situation Report web site.
Nov = 32% Dec = 26% Jan = 25% Feb = 22%

Groundwater aquifers are a finite resource and abstraction rates need to be kept to the absolute minimum during this summer if we are not to see very serious damage to the aquatic environment. Most winterbourne streams in Wiltshire and Dorset failed to flow at all this winter and I fear many upper river stretches will dry up resulting in huge losses of fish, invertebrates and other wildlife species supposedly internationally protected by SSSI and SAC status.
Wessex Water should be making all of its customers very aware of the perilous state of our rivers through proper use of all media communication methods so as to encourage the use of less water.
Wessex Water should also recognise the importance of ‘environmental drought’ and I believe that your drought plans should be triggered by environmental conditions, not just by water resource considerations.
Regardless of reduced incomes from supply and financial penalties from OFWAT I believe that a properly publicised hosepipe ban should be introduced now, while it can still be of some use.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,


Julian Dennis
Wessex Water
Claverton Down
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not out of place at all Luke. Smile


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desparate stuff.

We in Hertfordshire are suffering with the Ver disappearing fast the Beane buggered and the Gade now reduced to a playground for herons that are plucking at the easy pickings. I dare say the Mim Ram is shallow and it can't be long before the Rib, Lea, Chess and Colne follow let alone the other streams drying up.

Another part of the problem - here is a snap taken a couple of weeks ago of a small stream just outside Hertford that flows next to a golf club.

I guess the golf club will be looking for other ways to employ the pipe.

In the meantime I am having a go at this............


but we do normally get a dose of summer rain following dry periods so hopefully we can look forward to that. (don't quite know what the legs are doing on this clip!).


So I suppose it is a bucket and spade job and off to the coast for a bit of SWFF.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks truly tragic. Over here, so far, we have had no such problems. In fact this winter has meant fishing from banks that are a mud bath, simply because the ground has never had a chance to dry out.

No idea what the long term answer to this is but wish you well in your campaign. At some point the environment has to take priority. This is not just for the benefit of anglers but for the quality of life of everyone. Good luck.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice to see people responding here at least. shame we can't get sensible answers out of the EA, OFWAT, Natural England or Wessex Water however. Profit before all seems to be the mantra being taken up across England,
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post, Luke. Cool

Email sent.

Alan Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alaways a crying shame to see this happening across England year in year out from this side of the pond,....i can only imagine what the smell coming off a dying river is like,along with the feeling of losing all manner of life within the rivers Evil or Very Mad.....i once seen a small lake drained,and the smell of death from fish and all life that lived in it was horrific. Evil or Very Mad
Good luck with the appeal from this side of the pond,.....shocking how the people in power dont get off their butt in these matters until humans get invected with a touch of Diarrhea or tummy bug from water they supplying Rolling Eyes.....kill everything that lives in and around the rivers aslong as we dont harm any humans,....there surely must be a risk to humans from all that death in the rivers,it must produce some sort of risk of disease,not that anyone wants it to get to that eh!!!!!!.....a sad but true fact,the powers that be dont seem to give a toss until humans are invected by the water. Evil or Very Mad
If you cant take it,.....dont give it Wink
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