Caught by the River

Rivers on the Edge

Charles Rangeley-Wilson | 10th November 2009

by Charles Rangeley-Wilson.

Rivers on the Edge is a short fillum I’ve been making for WWF UK to support their campaign of the same name. The film ought – if it has worked – to make it kinda clear what the campaign is about. But anyway, for those without time to sit through a whole six and a half minutes, it’s basically this – USE LESS WATER.

Chalk streams are unique. A globally significant, rich and amazing habitat. But many are on the edge of survival. Abstraction licenses were given when no-one thought the pumping of water would have an impact, when the underground aquifers that drive these streams were thought to be limitless. But they weren’t limitless and now some rivers barely exist, while all are affected.

But private water companies will not happily give up this source of cheap, clean water. If we are to save our national heritage of chalk rivers water companies have to be compelled to find other sources of water. But even if they wanted to (which some do, but most don’t), our government, via OFWAT, won’t let them. OFWAT protects the price of water.

But what price a river? A river is priceless. Especially if it is possible – which it is – to have healthy rivers and an adequate supply of affordable water.

We need to use less of it and we need to compel our government to make more sense of how we get it, so that we can see rivers like the Beane, the Darenth, the Misbourne, the Og flowing again as they used to.

Join the WWF’s campaign. Adopt your local chalk stream if you’re lucky enough to live near one. Write to your MP.

Download the WWF report HERE.
Charles’ blog HERE.