Cam Valley Forum

Post date: 
29 Sep 2019 - 19:15
Member News

The Cam Valley Forum newsletter pdf is too large to be attached here, however this is the infomation minus the photos. If you would like a copy sent to you direct then please email with any items for him to consider for the next newsletter or to request that your address be taken off (or added to) the emailing list. 

In September, the Environment Agency (EA) carried out an electrofishing survey on The Rush which crosses Sheep’s Green Local Nature Reserve, acting as a fish pass (championed by the CVF, Newsletter 34, December 2016) between Newnham Mill Pond and the Upper Cam. Unlike virtually all streams in the Cam Valley, at the moment, The Rush was flush with water (photo on left) and yielded the brown trout (above) as well as an eel, stone loach, spined loach, minnow, gudgeon, roach, bullhead, as well as the most frequently observed: perch, chub, and dace.

Meanwhile the Cam river system is in crisis (see photo, below, of the Granta at Stapleford, this September). Piped water from the Thetford area helps make it possible for Cambridge Water to take less water from the Chalk aquifer south of Cambridge than it is legally entitled to by the extremely generous abstraction licences set up by the EA several decades ago when circumstances were very different. The EA has for years lacked the teeth and the funds to rescind these licences, and the 2014 Water Act exacerbated the problem by enabling water companies to buy excess rights from existing licence holders who no longer needed to use all the water they were entitled to. Since Cambridge Water is acting within the law it is not obliged to take responsibility for the general state of the rivers. Furthermore, the company is legally obliged to supply water, however great the future demand. The strategy of meeting that demand merely by reducing both leakage and personal consumption seems a tad optimistic/complacent. At the local level, although the Nine Wells augmentation infrastructure is in place it is not in operation, so Hobson’s Brook continues to suffer. A ‘hosepipe ban’ would help but Cambridge Water would see this as a loss of face. Ultimately, the interests of shareholders must be protected. Essex already pipes Great Ouse water from Denver. Whither Cambridge?

What can YOU do to help reduce your personal daily consumption of water (national average is 130 litres per head, per day)? 1 Mend dripping taps. 2 Do not run water when cleaning your teeth. 3 If it’s yellow let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down. 4 Use an efficient shower or take baths with friends. 5 Use water butts in the garden. 6 Install a meter. 7 Report leaks. 8 Email Cambridge Water to say that you would be happy with a hosepipe ban in order to protect our streams. Etc, etc. Do you pay enough for your water? Do planners do enough to insist on more sustainable water systems?
R Wells
R Mungovan
M Foley