The Rivers Trust attends Water Summit to call on businesses to address the growing pressures on UK water resources.

The Rivers Trust attends Water Summit to call on businesses to address the growing pressures on UK water resources.

The Rivers Trust attended The Manor House Hotel in Moreton in Marsh on Tuesday 29th May, to represent the Catchment Based Approach and call upon businesses to sign a declaration that aims to bring sectors and organisations together to enable more effective management of UK water catchments.

Recognising the importance of collaboration across the public-private boundary, the declaration was created by a cross-sector of companies with support of CISL, The Rivers Trust and Business in the Community. With over 50 signatories from companies and a number of public and third sector organisations, it demonstrates the widespread support for solutions that can protect drinking water quality, reduce flood risk, and support the health of UK rivers.

Effective catchment management has the potential to harness natural processes to support a healthier environment and manage modern challenges such as rapid population growth and climate change; the biggest threats to our water system according to a recent study from the Environment Agency.

Over 40 businesses have signed the declaration, including household names such as M&S, Neslte, Coca-cola as well as a number of water companies including Anglian Water, Thames Water and Yorkshire Water. A number of public and third sector organisations have also signed the declaration, representing the important collaboration across the public-private boundary.

The initiative supports the delivery of government’s 25 year Environment Plan which calls for a step change in how water catchment areas are managed. The declaration was launched at a Water Summit hosted by CISL and attended by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Arlin Rickard, CEO The Rivers Trust and chairman of the CaBA National Support Group said: “Cross sector commitment to collaborative action at the catchment scale is vital to improving the water environment and delivery of the 25yr Environment Plan. Through the Catchment based approach, we will be helping businesses and farmers take the right steps in implementing good water stewardship practices”

Gemma Cranston, CISL’s Programme Director for Natural Capital said: “Managing our water resources effectively requires a collaborative approach in order to deliver real benefits for the environment, economy and local communities. This is recognised by the many organisations that have signed the Catchment Management Declaration today.”

Peter Simpson, Chief Executive of Anglian Water said ““It is vital that we understand the availability of water for all of us to use is impacted by the quality of the water in our landscape. Continuing to manage the demand and impacts on water in the future, while balancing the needs of the environment, will only be possible by working collaboratively across our water catchments. That way we can make sure that there is enough water of the right quality for all our needs.”

Nevil Muncaster, Director of Asset Management for Yorkshire Water said: “Over the last decade and more, we have learnt that by working across the whole catchment in a holistic, integrated way we can deliver benefits for society that go beyond the management of water.”

The Summit, which took place at The Manor House Hotel, Moreton in Marsh, brought together experts and thought leaders from business, agriculture, regulation, academia, government, the public sector and civil society to explore innovative ways to address the challenges of catchment management. It showcased the latest best practise examples of catchment partnerships and water management from around the country.

You can sign the declaration here. 

Read the speech by HRH Prince of Wales.

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