EA slashes groundwater extraction limits to protect rare chalk stream

The Environment Agency has won renewed permission to extract groundwater to boost the flow of a chalk stream in Hampshire under drought conditions, but at significantly lower levels than previously allowed.

The existing scheme on the Candover stream, which feeds into the river Itchen, uses groundwater from the underlying chalk aquifer to increase water flow - as a way of supporting downstream water abstraction in the Itchen.

However, when applying to renew the scheme, the EA proposed reducing by nearly 80% the daily and annual quantities of groundwater that could be extracted, as well as limiting the frequency the scheme could be used to a maximum of once every six years.

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