Southern Water seeks drought permit as River Test flows drop

Decreasing water flows in the River Test have led to Southern Water applying for a drought permit to continue abstracting water from the protected chalk stream, which supplies much of southern Hampshire.

In a statement released last week, the company said flows had fallen to the point that it may have to seek permission from the Environment Agency (EA) to continue its abstraction operations. 

A dry winter has placed considerable strain on many of England’s chalk streams, with the EA issuing new abstraction licence restrictions along large swathes of the Test earlier this year. 

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