Chalk Stream Partnership

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Clear Chalk Stream‘Revitalising the RiVer: St Albans’ is part of the Chalk Streams Partnership, a wider programme of projects that aims to protect and restore our rare chalk streams. This partnership is led by Affinity Water and the Environment Agency, working alongside other partners.

As part of this programme, Affinity Water has agreed to cease or reduce the amount of water that they abstract from groundwater sources on six chalk streams – the Rivers Ver, Gade, Misbourne, Upper Lee, Beane, and Mimram.

Affinity Water will continue to meet the demand for water in the area by introducing a number of planned water saving initiatives.

There are three abstraction reductions that affect the River Ver through St Albans. Abstraction was ceased at one pumping station in 2016 and there will be reductions at two more by 2025.These reductions will mean more water is retained in the environment, which will lead to improved flows and a result in a stronger, more resilient and more natural River Ver. 

It may also lead to groundwater re-emerging to more natural levels in some low lying areas. While we are confident that there will be no increase in flood risk to any properties in St Albans, some areas of the park and wider river area may return to being wetter more often.

We are looking at opportunities resulting from this that will bring benefits for people and wildlife – this may include the creation of wetland habitats, accessible by board walks.

As well as abstraction reductions, a number of river restoration projects are currently being planned and delivered by the Environment Agency in collaboration with
Affinity Water, Catchment Partnerships, local Councils and others. The aim is to improve the rivers of Hertfordshire and bring them back to their former glory.

Date of last review: 19 March 2018