How much stress is the RIver Sid under at the moment?
How much of the Valley’s ‘blue corridor’ should be restored – to help relieve this stress long-term?
Here is a piece from today’s Independent:
Wetlands ‘must be restored on enormous scale’ to cope with more droughts
Wetlands need to be restored “on an enormous scale” to tackle a future of more dry summers, conservationists have said, as the spectre of drought looms. The Wildlife Trusts says the loss of wetlands in the past century, from development, drainage for agriculture and over-extraction by water companies, must be reversed to protect river flows and wildlife as the climate warms. The call comes as months of little rainfall and the recent heatwave have left rivers at exceptionally low levels, have depleted reservoirs and left soil very dry, putting pressure on the environment, farming and water supplies, and raising the risk of wildfires. ..
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of The Rivers Trust, said: “Every year we get to this perilous position and at the last possible moment, when the rivers are at their lowest, we get discussion of temporary use bans. Announcing it at the last minute causes people to rush to wash their cars and fill their paddling pools, wash the dog, and causes an increase in demand before the ban comes in. This should happen before the rivers come to a desperate condition and there’s not enough water for wildlife.”
Ali Morse, water policy manager for The Wildlife Trusts, said there was a need to restore wetlands to cope with a future of more dry conditions. “Development, drainage for agriculture and over-extraction by water companies have contributed to the loss of 90% of our wetlands in the last 100 years – with a devastating impact for wildlife and the natural processes that enable ecosystems to function,” she said. “As our climate changes, and we experience more dry spells and periods of drought, we must restore wetland habitats on an enormous scale. This will help retain water in the landscape when it’s scarce, topping up river flows and providing a much-needed boost to wildlife. These same wetlands also hold water back during high flows, benefiting people by reducing risks of flooding downstream.”
Photo taken of the private Sid River Nature Reserve at Fortescue – where the river has been ‘restored’ to a considerable degree.