Sir Michael Fallon has this week urged OFWAT, the regulator for water in England and Wales, to take a tougher stance on water abstraction from the Darent River in response to an appeal from the Darent River Preservation Society.
The Darent, which consists of clean chalk aquifers fed solely by rainfall, is routinely abstracted from by Thames Water – even though the South East is the region with the lowest levels of rainfall in the country. The Sevenoaks MP has warned that continued abstraction is ‘unsustainable’.
Sir Michael said: “At current levels, the Darent is set to run dry. That is even before you consider the nearly 24,000 new homes both Sevenoaks District Council and Dartford Borough Council have been instructed to build in the coming years. OFWAT must exercise greater control over unrestricted abstraction and hold companies like Thames Water properly accountable for their actions.”