EA data shows increase in unsustainable abstraction from rivers

There has been a slight increase in unsustainable abstraction from surface water bodies, according to the Environment Agency’s (EA) progress report on abstraction reform.

The report, published yesterday, is a statutory requirement under the Water Act 2014 and sets out the Environment Agency’s actions over the period 2014 to 2019.

While the agency has made some progress on water flows - 84% of surface water bodies now support the required flow standards, up from 82% in 2017 - the proportion of unsustainably abstracted water bodies increased from 8% in 2017 to 9% in 2019. The target is to have 6% in this category by 2021.

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