Letter: Lack of water in the River Allen
I MUST return to a topic I have previously raised in the Stour and Avon Magazine, namely the sorry state of the River Allen in Wimborne.
I have lived very close to this river for 44 years, and it is now at the lowest level I have ever seen and this despite the record rainfall in early summer.
Over the years I have heard several times that efforts were to be made to restore or improve the river. I am sure these intentions were well meaning and were made by people and organisations that felt as I did about it, but the situation is now dire.
Sadly it seems to me that the main problem is shortage of water, a serious problem with a river I think all would agree.
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Much more attention has been given to flood prevention than to the health of the river, and this in an area which very seldom sees serious flooding.
I believe that there is severe over extraction by water companies and farmers and unless this basic situation is addressed no real progress can be made.
The water company has said previously that their extraction is within legal limits, but I believe these limits were set in different times when there was less pressure on water supplies and when the climate was more predictable - the annual rains coming in October.
If what is now happening is legal then the law clearly needs changing.
Plans to build hundreds of new houses in this area with subsequent extra demand on water supplies will of course not improve the situation and we are also promised - or threatened with - "fracking" for gas or oil.
There are two incontrovertible facts about this process; it uses copious amounts of water and some rather nasty chemicals are injected, which could possibly seep into the groundwater.
Given these possibilities I fear that "our" river could dry up completely in the not too distant future.