Why you should – and how you can – respond

S&TA urges you to participate in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure that our precious water resources are properly and sustainably managed – simply by emailing Defra or filling in the online form (contact details below).

Abstraction reform: why is it needed?
The right to abstract water from rivers, reservoirs etc. in England and Wales was formally created by the Water Act of 1963. This was done with little or no consideration of what level of abstraction the body of water could actually sustain and this allocation has since proved to be seriously inaccurate. Current levels of abstraction are causing significant ecological problems in over 1,000 river water bodies, and 42% of groundwater bodies (pretty much every groundwater body in the south and east of England) are failing.

Together with our partners in the Blueprint for Water coalition we have today published a really useful and informative "crib sheet" outlining the background, what the consultation’s parameters are, and our particular concerns. Click here to view.

Responses need to be emailed to Defra, at, by Friday 28th March. Alternatively, you can respond online on the consultation website, which has copies of the consultation document and the supported evidence.

Please don’t hesitate to contact S&TA’s Head of Science, Janina Gray – – if you need any further information, or visit the Blueprint for Water website –