Abstraction

Nearly a quarter of English rivers are at serious risk from unsustainable water abstraction

Taking too much water out of a system is known as over-abstraction.

But why is abstraction such a problem for salmon, trout and their waters?

Fish are less able to migrate up and down rivers to complete their life cycles.

Pollutants in the water become more concentrated because of the lack of dilution.

Increased sedimentation clogs up rivers because they do not have the energy to remove them.

Less wetted area results in reduced shelter and food availability for wild fish.

Water temperatures increase and oxygen levels decrease.

The Challenge

Around 700 million litres per day of water currently comes from unsustainable abstractions.

On average, a person in the UK uses 150 litres of water a day, whereas residents of Copenhagen use less than 110 litres per day.

Nearly a quarter of English rivers are at serious risk from unsustainable water abstraction.

This challenge will only continue to increase with climate change and population growth.

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Major interventions are urgently needed on both the demand and supply sides to tackle the problem.

What we're lobbying for

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