Reader’s letter: River Wye RIP

Wednesday 27th July 2022 1:04 pm
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River Wye image
River Wye (NRW )

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Global heating has visited us another heatwave and a drought this month in the Forest of Dean. Our River Wye is in a critical situation as the wildlife dies from hot water, agricultural pollution, low water levels and the continued discharge of raw sewage by the private water companies.

Hastening the destruction of this natural ecosystem is the abstraction of that precious local water from the river, the aquifers and artesian wells by private concerns.

At the Bigwell Fly Fishery at Redbrook, Severn Trent Water have continued to unfairly extract 100% of the well water, leaving the local enterprise with a critical shortage.

As increasingly severe droughts take hold, we will lose our natural freshwater ecology to the competition for profits. Meanwhile, Liv Garfield, the best paid water company boss of STW, was paid £2.45m last year.

We are all partly responsible for this tragic situation. We waste water. We also elected an MP and government that refuse to support and fund effective monitoring, regulation and enforcement of polluters in the catchment, because it might damage profits and distract from economic growth. Meanwhile the river dies, ON OUR WATCH.

I have stopped writing to water company bosses, our MP and the government ministers (whoever they may be when you read this) because of a lack of meaningful response-ability whilst avoiding to take the climate change threat seriously.

If I was MP I would urgently bang heads together, continually, until our rivers were protected from extinction and The Polluter Pays principle was adopted in law. A member of the Gloucestershire Youth Climate Group said to local government politicians recently, “You have failed our generation and wrecked our futures!” My friends; she’s right. Please join the Save the Wye group if you care and want to help.

Chris McFarling, St Briavels

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