1. Stop the abstraction from the Mimram
- That there is water flowing along the whole length of the river at all times (excluding historic winterflowing sections)
To campaign for the closure of Fulling Mill and Digswell pumping stations which will improve the level of flow along the length of the Mimram.
Success: The Environment Agency and Affinity Water have agreed for the abstraction licence at Fulling Mill to be revoked. Abstraction is planned to cease at Fulling Mill in 2018. Agreement has also been reached to substantially reduce the abstraction at Digswell in 2020.
There are two major boreholes on the Mimram, which have significantly reduced the flow levels in the river. Affinity Water had licences to abstract 11mega-litres per day (mlpd) from each, although they could only abstract 9 mlpd from Digswell with their current equipment. This water is used to supply the surrounding towns and villages.
Following lobbying by the Friends of the Mimram and MPs, the Environment Agency recognised that this over-abstraction was the main cause of the low flows and silting up, which is why the Mimram is declared in 'Poor Status', under the Water Framework Directive.
Affinity Water's latest business case includes closing Fulling Mill PS in 2018 and reducing Digswell PS to 2.5mlpd. This was approved by Ofwat in April 2014 and the abstraction licences have now been revoked. This will make a significant difference to the flow of the river.
Under the Water Framework Directive the whole of the river should be in’ good condition’ by 2027.
This successful campaign is a good example of the local communities, MPs and other stakeholders working togther to achive the fundamental aim of having a ggod flow of water in this rare chalk stream.