The Environment Agency’s Worcestershire Middle Severn Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy has been launched. For the next six years, it will form the basis for all our decisions on the management of the water resources of the Worcestershire Middle Severn area.

 

This is an area stretching from the southern edge of Telford south to Worcester and also covering the western edge of the Black Country and over to Wyre Forest. It includes parts of Telford, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Kidderminster and Worcester. The market town of Bridgnorth can also be found here.

 

The main rivers are the Rivers Worfe, Stour and Salwarpe. There are also a number of brooks such as the Dowles Brook, Hadley Brook and Borle Brook, and canals, which include Staffs-Worcester and Droitwich canals. The River Severn, which runs through this area, is not covered by this CAMS as it has already been considered in the Severn Corridor CAMS which was published in 2003.

 

Water is a precious resource and there are often competing priorities between the needs of public water supply, agriculture, industry, navigation and recreation. It is important that it is managed in a sustainable way so as to protect rivers for future generations. It must also be regulated in a way that is fair to everyone, and the CAMS has been the subject of extensive consultation.

 

The CAMS document provides an overview of the Worcestershire Middle Severn and addresses local issues. It sets out the licensing policy for taking water out of the river system and from groundwater, and identifies how this should be managed in a sustainable way. It does not consider flood management or water quality, which are covered by separate studies.

 

The CAMS makes more information on water resources publicly available. It also allows the balance between the needs of abstractors, other water users and the water environment to be considered. The CAMS will be reviewed every six years.

 

A copy of the CAMS can be obtained by calling Helen Tidridge at the Environment Agency’s Shrewsbury office (Tel: 01743 283541). A copy will also be posted into our website www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

 

Notes:

Catchment

According to Chambers Dictionary, a catchment is “the area of land that is drained by a particular river system or lake”

 

Worcestershire Middle Severn CAMS

The Worcestershire Middle Severn CAMS area is largely urban as it includes parts of Telford, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Kidderminster and Worcester. The market town of Bridgnorth can also be found here. The urban development pressures are significant and are likely to increase in the future, due to further growth.

 

The area is also mainly agricultural and features a number of intensive farms. This can have a major impact on water resources due to demands for irrigation from groundwater and surface water supplies. Pressure is also placed on water quality due to the potential impacts from the use of fertilisers and general land management.

 

The main rivers are the Rivers Worfe, Stour and Salwarpe. This CAMS does not include the River Severn as it was considered in the Severn Corridor CAMS which was published in June 2003. There are also a number of brooks such as the Dowles Brook, Hadley Brook and Borle Brook, and canals, which include Staffs-Worcester and Droitwich.

 

There are a large number of sites of Special Scientific Inerest in the catchment, including Wyre Forest and Hartlebury Common. There are also two Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) – one at Fens Pools, Dudley and one at Lyppard Grange, Worcester. Both are designated for the presence of Great Crested Newt.

 

This area is very heavily abstracted with most abstractions made by historic Licences of Right. Its geology is mostly sandstone, which is a very good water bearing rock. The groundwater is currently classified as ‘over licensed’ (i.e. there is no spare water available for further groundwater abstraction) which increases the pressure on the current water supplies. There are some large public water supply abstractions from the groundwater aquifer.

 

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