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Is a market based solution suitable to save the River Kennet, in Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK?

The River Kennet is one of England's most important chalk streams. Some 45 miles long, it is the largest tributary of the Thames and in summer months contributes up to half its flow.
On Friday September 30th, the minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon met Geoffrey Findlay and Charlotte Hitchmough from Action for the River Kenent in Marlborough to discuss the low flows in the river Kennet, and the on-going issue of over-abstraction. Local MP Claire Perry also attended the meeting and made clear to the minister that her in-box was full of letters expressing dismay at the poor state of the upper Kennet. Claire offered such help as she could give to support ARK in its campaign to reduce water abstraction.

As he stood on the bridge overlooking a dried out section of the river, Richard Benyon agreed that the state of the Kennet was 'very worrying'.


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  • Jan 25 2012: An incentive to conserve water rather than abstract it needs to be established. Perhaps water permits??
    However, seeing that the River Kennet is primarily short of water due to a lack of rainfall. There is no market solution to increase the amount of rain so its suitability is questionable.
    • Jan 25 2012: This is Blasphemy!
    • Jan 25 2012: Surely if less water is taken from the river, it will be possible for the water levels to rise again as the river was full before.

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