‘South East water crisis’: EA and Ofwat pledge to protect rivers with new national water strategies

Two new national water resource strategies will “fundamentally shift” water management in England, according to regulators Ofwat and the Environment Agency (EA).

Speaking on Saturday at a conference hosted by the Chilterns Society on the devastation being experienced by England’s chalk streams, Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher said she was “not proud of the situation” and acknowledged that there is a “water crisis in the South East”. 

Ofwat's new long-term strategy will be crucial in ensuring the sector builds the right infrastructure, but is “not about getting water to the South East at the least cost,'' Fletcher said. Instead, it is about “minimising impacts on the environment” and maximising “natural capital value”, she said. 

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