Sold down the river

Despite improvements the water sector continues to be responsible for large volumes of pollutants entering England’s rivers every year, so what can be done to stem the flow? Rachel Salvidge reports on plans to make private firms strengthen their resilience duties

Thames Water was fined a record £20m in March for repeatedly discharging raw sewage into the Thames, estimated to total around 1.4 billion litres. Photograph: Tom Arthur/FlickrThe UK’s freshwaters, as a natural-capital asset, are worth at least £40bn to the economy, according to the Office of National Statistics, one of many reasons why the water environment needs better protection.

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