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May 3, 2018
Category: Abstraction
Posted by: Kathryn

With an ever-growing demand for drinking water and increasingly extreme weather events, how do we get the water we need without causing even more harm to our rivers?

May 2, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

Our riverfly monitors are back out in the centre of Chesham checking for life in the Chess now that flow has returned.

Mar 24, 2018
Category: HS2
Posted by: Kathryn

A public meeting with HS2 and the Environment Agency looked at the risks posed by tunnelling to the groundwater and rivers of the Chess and Misbourne Valleys.

Dec 31, 2017
Category: Conservation
Posted by: Kathryn

Restoration works to a tributary of the Chess are planned for early 2018.

Latest News

Call For Earlier Drought Action

Nov 3, 2011

Category: Rainfall & River Levels
Posted by: Kathryn

The dry Chess 2011The River Chess Association has called upon the Environment Agency to take earlier action to tackle droughts. The RCA has submitted its response to the agency's draft South East Drought Plan. View the RCA's response (PDF, 337 KB). The consultation has come at a time when low rainfall and over-abstraction has led to the River Chess drying out as far as Lord's Mill in Chesham and yet a drought has not been declared. This illustrates the fact that the agency is not detecting drought conditions early enough, and as a result, is not taking action to prevent environmental damage.

The RCA has called for assessments of drought at the river-scale, rather than the broader scales employed by the Environment Agency, and has highlighted the willingness of local, voluntary groups to provide data and information that would help detect drought earlier.

The RCA has also called for the inclusion of a plan to deal with raw sewage releases into chalk streams during drought conditions. There is a very real risk that a one-off, heavy rainstorm during drought conditions could overwhelm the local sewage works and lead to a release of raw sewage into the Chess. Under drought conditions, when river flows are very low, this pollution will not be diluted and the consequences for the river and its wildlife would be devastating.

The Environment Agency will use the consultation responses made by the RCA and other organisations in the production of its final drought plans for England and Wales, which will be published in January 2012.