Cash-strapped NRA pleads for bigger grant

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) is seeking at least an extra £18 million from the Department of the Environment (DoE) over the next three years, its latest corporate plan reveals.1 The money is needed to counter pollution from abandoned mines and contaminated land, and to implement statutory water quality objectives (SWQOs). But even with the extra cash the NRA would lack the resources to solve pressing low-flow problems, enforce critical abstraction licences, and pay for extra accommodation.

The NRA's bid follows a 12% mid-year cut in its DoE grant for 1991/2 (ENDS Report 201, p 4), and a 15% cut in its anticipated grant for 1992/3 (ENDS Report 202, pp 4-5). The cuts were made after the NRA blotted its copybook with the DoE by overspending by 165% on its new head office in Bristol, as a parliamentary inquiry revealed earlier this year (ENDS Report 207, p 25 

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