More news...

Sep 18, 2017
Category: General
Posted by: Kathryn

A public River Chess forum will take place in support of the World Wildlife Fund's 'Nature Needs You' campaign.

Jul 12, 2017
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

With groundwater levels now exceptionally low, the river in Chesham is dry as far as Lord's Mill, Waterside.

Jul 12, 2017
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

We welcome the news that Thames Water will shortly be making improvements to the Chesham works.

Apr 1, 2017
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

The River Chess has suffered many issues resulting from the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works, going as far back as 1889. These problems continue today.

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.