Chalk streams: Aquaculture firms allowed to take 59 million cubic metres of water from stressed Hampshire catchment every year

Plant and fish aquaculture firms are able to temporarily take up to 55% of a total of 1.05 billion cubic metres of water licensed to be abstracted from a catchment which supports the rare and fragile chalk streams, the Test and Itchen.

England is home to around 85% of the world’s chalk streams and much of these are under threat from over abstraction, according to NGOs such as the WWF and campaigners such as Feargal Sharkey. In 2014, the WWF reported that more than three-quarters of chalk streams (77%) failed to meet the water quality standards set by the EU’s Water Framework Directive. 

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