Protecting the environment
How can we get the right level of environmental protection during a drought?
Why the contribution is important
Drought is a naturally occurring phenomenon from which the natural environment is typically able to recover. However catchments under stress are more vulnerable to the impacts of drought and may take much longer to recover if they ever do.
Environmental impacts from a drought can include fish kills as rivers dry out and oxygen concentration falls.
Research suggests that one of the most important factors influencing the response of the aquatic life to drought is the physical modification of aquatic habitat through changes to its shape, structure or composition. Aquatic life inhabiting modified water bodies are less able to survive and recover from drought.
Currently we can review the balance between environmental protection and human needs during a drought, for example:
- Water companies can apply to the Environment Agency for drought permits which allow them access to specified sources or to modify or suspend conditions on their abstraction licences.
- The Water Framework Directive allows member States to declare a "temporary deterioration" to achieving its general objectives for water bodies in prolonged drought conditions, if they could not have been planned for, prevented or reasonably foreseen.
by abstractionreform on September 05, 2014 at 11:01AM