Martin Salter, MP for Reading West and the Government’s Angling Spokesman, is one of the sponsors of the Blueprint for Water – 10 steps to sustainable water by 2015, that was launched in Parliament this week.

 

The Blueprint for Water was compiled by an unprecedented coalition of environmental and angling organisations representing more than six million people.  It urges the Government to slash the amount of water wasted in homes and businesses, asks for an increase in fines for water pollution and calls for the creation of a fund to help urban and rural communities restore river catchments. The document was presented to Environment Minister, Ian Pearson, who attended the launch on Tuesday.

 

The Blueprint sets out a clear and achievable programme of action that the Government must take in order to meet agreed European standards for water management.  The Water Framework Directive requires the ecology of Europe’s fresh waters to be restored to health by 2015.

 

Martin Salter said:

 

“The EU Water Framework Directive presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reverse the neglect of our water resources and freshwater environment. I strongly support what the Blueprint for Water coalition is advocating with their ten-point plan of action for sustainable water by 2015.

 

This is a vital step towards taking action together to prevent a water crisis in the future. We’ve taken water for granted for too long- and I hope the Blueprint will mark the beginning of a concerted effort to put this right.

 

Water is essential for all life. The EU Water Framework Directive provides an unprecedented opportunity for the UK Government to make a real improvement to the health of our water environment for the benefit of wildlife and people.  This is a narrow window of opportunity and we need to act on it now.”

 

Graham Wynne, Chief Executive of the RSPB said:

 

“Water, rivers and wetlands have helped shape our nation, our wildlife and the way we think about ourselves.

 

Yet today many of our waterways are devoid of the fish, plants and animals they once supported, our wetlands have been lost and our rivers are polluted and over-abstracted.

 

Unless things change the country will become increasingly parched and lifeless and we will all end up paying far too high a price for the shameful way we use and abuse our water.”

 

Mark Lloyd, Executive Director of the Anglers Conservation Association, said:

 

“The ACA regards the Blueprint as absolutely vital to safeguard our rivers and waterways. Anglers are often able to see at first hand the damage we are doing to our water and its wildlife. Without adequate protection for our rivers there will be no fishing.” 

 

Martin Salter added:

 

“I am pleased to see that the organisations representing Britain’s 3 million Anglers have thrown their weight behind the Blueprint for Water. Anglers depend on healthy fish stocks and healthy fish stocks require clean water and good ecosystems. Angling has now placed itself firmly at the heart of the environmental movement which is where it belongs.”

 

 

1. To find out more visit www.blueprintforwater.org.uk

 

2. Blueprint coalition members:

The Anglers’ Conservation Association
The Association of Rivers Trusts
The National Trust
RSPB 

The Salmon and Trout Association  

Waterwise 

The Wildlife Trusts  

WWF-UK 

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust  

FACT

 

3. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires European Union countries to measure the quality of their inland and coastal waters against a set of environmental objectives, managed on a river basin basis. EU countries must achieve “good status” water quality by 2015. “Good status” covers not only the chemical quality of water, but also the ecological status of rivers, lakes, canals, estuaries and coastal waters. Ecological status means the presence and condition of living things in the water, such as fish, fresh water shrimps, larvae of dragonfly, aquatic plants such as water crowfoot and water lily and smaller microscopic plants.

 

4. Elliot Morley MP, Martin Salter MP, Charles Walker MP and Martin Horwood MP have sponsored an Early Day Motion (number 306) in Parliament to support the Blueprint for Water:

That this House welcomes the publication of visionary blueprint for water by a wide-ranging coalition of organisations representing more than six million people, and comprising the Anglers’ Conservation Association, the Association of Rivers Trusts, the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust, the National Trust, the RSPB, the Salmon and Trout Association, Waterwise, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and WWF; notes that this vision includes measures to ensure that, by 2015, less water is wasted, rivers are kept flowing and wetlands wet, water is fairly priced, polluters pay, pollutants do not contaminate water, sewage is kept out of homes and rivers and off beaches, water-friendly farming is supported, drainage from roads and buildings is cleaned up, rivers are restored from their sources to the sea, and water is retained in floodplains and wetlands; believes that, if met, the challenges and targets within this blueprint will be key factors in helping the Government to implement the EC Water Framework Directive successfully in England and Wales; welcomes the blueprint’s broad vision for water policy; and calls on the Government to take action to implement the programme for water management it sets out.

5. Blueprint for Water – 10 steps to sustainable water by 2015

 

Waste less water

Reduce water consumption by at least 20% through more efficient use in homes, buildings and businesses

 

Keep our rivers flowing and wetlands wet

Amend or revoke those water abstraction licences that damage rivers, lakes and wetlands

 

Price water fairly

Make household water bills reflect the amount of water people use

 

Make polluters pay

Ensure that those who damage the water environment bear the costs through more effective law enforcement and tougher penalties

 

Stop pollutants contaminating our water

Introduce targeted regulations to reduce harmful pollutants in water

 

Keep sewage out of homes and rivers and off beaches

Upgrade the sewage system to reduce discharges of sewage into urban environments and ecologically sensitive areas

 

Support water-friendly farming

Help farmers to prevent pollution and restore degraded soils, rivers and wetlands through advice, training and payments

 

Clean up drainage from roads and buildings

Construct modern drainage systems that prevent pollution entering rivers from buildings and roads

 

Restore rivers from source to sea

Regenerate rivers, lakes and wetlands in partnership with local communities

 

Retain water on floodplains and wetlands

Restore large areas of wetland and floodplain to create vital wildlife habitats, improve water quality and quantity, and reduce urban flooding

 

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