The UK Government is seeking the views of stakeholders on its plans to develop a National Policy Statement (NPS) for Water Resources.

By the 2050s England is expected to face a water deficit of 8-22% of total water demand. Demand for water will increase due to population and economic growth, whilst the impacts of climate change and drought are likely to reduce the reliability of rainfall. The Government recognises that action is required now to ensure we can meet our future water needs in an affordable way.

The Government is clear that ambitious action is required to reduce demand for water by being more water efficient. At the same time, new water resources will also be needed meaning that new large infrastructure such as reservoirs or water transfers will be part of the solution. Where new large infrastructure is needed, the Government wants to make sure that it can be delivered in a timely manner to a high standard. To help achieve this, Defra is developing a National Policy Statement on Water Resources (NPS) which will streamline the process of gaining planning consents for large water infrastructure projects. The role of an NPS is set out in the Planning Act 2008. It presents the national evidence base and demonstrates the need for new large scale water resource infrastructure and provides detailed guidance setting out the framework for decisions on new large water supply projects.

The Colne and its chalk stream tributaries have suffered from unsustainable levels of abstraction for over half a century. The development of new strategic water resources will be key to bringing about meaningful levels of abstraction reduction and ensuring rivers in the Colne catchment have a more healthy future.


The consultation documents are available to here. The deadline for responses is 22nd December.



Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.