CURAT was formed in the summer of 2020 in reaction to the continuing decline of the river Cam, especially the 10 miles of the river from its source south of Saffron Walden through north Uttlesford towards the villages of south Cambridgeshire.

We are campaigning for a proper flow to be restored to the river. It has been so low, for so long, that people assume this is its natural state.

The reason the river is dying is not lack of rainfall, it is over-abstraction of water from the Chalk aquifer to supply housing and commerce. The aquifer drives the natural springs that feed most of the rivers in this area.

In short, the river is being robbed of water. There was a time when it was deeper with a faster flow and alive with fish, insects, voles and bird life.

Without a proper flow the river bed is silting up and pollutants are not being diluted or washed away fast enough. What should be living in or around the river has either gone or is increasingly rare.

2 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. This comes as no surprise whatsoever. I had been told many years ago that water could be in short supply in the area but still the council approve large building projects. I don’t blame developers. They are in the business of building houses. Why can’t the local and district councils inform central government that water is quickly becoming a major issue in the area and consequently the building of hundreds of houses is unsustainable?

    1. Central Govt has been aware for many years that abstraction from the chalk aquifer is unsustainable – an inconvenient truth the has been conveniently ignored by all those responsible (DEFRA, MHCLG) on the assumption that it was a problem the water companies would solve. They haven’t. Some while ago the Environment Agency – which licenses abstraction – was first pressured to over-license the companies, then it was emasculated, then had its budget slashed, then had some 1,500 people transferred to Brexit duties. The Public Accounts Committee’s recent report on the water supply market makes interesting and depressing reading. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5801/cmselect/cmpubacc/378/37802.htm

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