Environment Agency efforts fail to stem river abstraction

Abstraction from rivers in England has increased despite Environment Agency (EA) efforts to cut it back to protect wildlife, new figures show.

DEFRA’s latest estimates, published today, show an overall rise in abstraction from surface and groundwater of 7.5% in 2017 from 2016.  At its lowest point, in 2011, around 8.2 billion cubic metres of water was being taken per year, but since then, abstraction has increased by 27% to an estimated 10.4 billion cubic metres in 2017.

The figures, covering 2000-2017, show a steady increase since 2013, following a period of gradual decline in abstraction between 2000 and 2011.

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