More news...

Feb 17, 2020
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn
On the 16th February, Thames Water's Chesham Sewage Treatment Works released storm sewage into the river.
Jan 15, 2020
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

On 15th January, Thames Water's Chesham Sewage Treatment Works released storm sewage into the river.

Dec 15, 2019
Category: Wildlife
Posted by: Kathryn

Apex predators and fish populations can co-exist in a healthy ecosystem. There is advice and help available for any fishery owners concerned about the presence of otters on the Chess.

Dec 15, 2019
Category: Wildlife
Posted by: Kathryn

Otters are present on the Chess; part of the positive story of the recovery of this protected species from the brink of extinction.

Latest News

Hosepipe Ban Ends: What About the Chess?

Jul 9, 2012

Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

Today's announcement of an immediate lifting of the water use restrictions (hosepipe ban) by Veolia Central Water, who supply our water locally, is, on the face of it, welcome news. However, if we look below the surface we are not convinced that lifting the ban is the right decision for our environment, and especially the River Chess.

Veolia tells us that groundwater levels in the South East are predicted to rise fractionally above 94m above sea level before falling away during the rest of the Summer. The Meades Water Gardens near the centre of Chesham stands at about 99m above sea level, so it is not difficult to understand why the river is still dry through Chesham [see below].

The dry river channel in Meades Water Gardens

In its announcement, Veolia said "It must be stressed that groundwater levels still remain lower than normal. Prolonged and substantial rainfall particularly during the next autumn and winter period, will be needed to restore groundwater to normal levels. A third dry autumn and winter would make a hosepipe ban next year a possibility so we would like to urge our customers to continue to use water wisely".

From this it seems clear that Veolia is prepared to put the convenience of its customers above fundamental environmental considerations. Equally, our politicians seem prepared to allow this situation to continue. We say it is time for a re-think. Abstraction licences  should be reduced and water metering should be introduced urgently. The future of our chalk streams is at stake,

In the meantime, we echo the call for everyone to treat water as a precious resource and to use it sparingly.

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