Water has a special significance in Cheshire. It has been a major factor in the success of the county’s traditional industries from the early 20th Century onward. Salt extraction, movement of goods by canal and the Mersey Estuary are all examples. Cheshire has more waterbodies than any other county, made up of rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, mire’s and canals. The quality of these watercourses is essential to all other forms of life.
Although there has been a reduction in the numbers of pollution incidents and a continuing improvement in the quality of Cheshire’s rivers and streams, in 2000, approximately 12% are still classified as “poor” or “bad” by the Environment Agency. The national target is to reduce this to 9% or better by the year 2005. This drive towards greater improvement is reinforced by the Mersey Basin Campaign’s emerging long term objective of the return of salmon to the watercourses of the North West. Local partnerships will work with the Environment Agency and United Utilities to support these aims.
Actions to be taken include improvements to waste water treatment works, improvements to consented discharges, quantification of point source and diffuse pollution from farms and the development of an action plan to prioritise farm visits. Specific watercourses will also be targeted. The river Weaver and it’s navigation, for example, has significant stretches that are currently classified as poor quality and work will be undertaken to tackle the legacy of industrial discharges. At the same time, studies of the Manchester Ship canal will be carried out to identify the actions needed to improve the quality of the water and identify the physical barriers that currently prevent the migration of salmon into and along Cheshire’s watercourses.
Recently the issue of flooding as become more acute as we become more aware of the risks posed by climate change. As a lowland county, Cheshire is susecptible to flooding in certain areas. The Environment Agency website has a postcode search so you check to see whether your property would be at risk, click here to go to these pages.
To support the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy there is a suite of 68 national sustainable development indicators.
For information on national indicators, visit the governments sustainable development website
In an effort to put the UK’s progress in sustainable development into an international context, and to highlight worldwide trends and challenges, a set of international data has been compiled to complement the 68 national indicators of sustainable development.
For more information on international indicators visit visit the governments sustainable development website
Regional indicators for the Northwest
For each Government Office region a fact sheet has been produced.
The fact sheets include pie charts that summarise the progress in indicators within the priority areas of (a) sustainable consumption and production and natural resources, and (b) sustainable communities.
For more information on regional information visit visit the governments sustainable development website
Mersey Basin Campaign
The Mersey Basin Campaign is the leading organisation in regenerating the North Wests’ waterways. It is a 25-year programme designed to regenerate the Mersey Basin area and bring about improved water quality. It co-ordinates its work through River Valley Initiative, these are partnership initiatives involving the public, private and voluntary sectors and the local community working together to improve the environment of rivers. In Cheshire there are 3 RVI’s, for the Weaver Valley, Upper Weaver and Bollin catchments.
British Waterways is the organisation responsible for maintaining 2,000 miles of the inland waterway network. In Cheshire these include the Shropshire Union and Mersey and Trent canals.
Weaver Valley Regional Park
Our vision is to connect, transform and energise the Weaver Valley, capturing the areas unique spaces and places to drive forward an economic, environmental and social transformation of regional significance.
Water Vole Biodiversity Action Plan
Details of action being taken to reverse the decline of water voles in Cheshire
United Utilities – Save a Flush
Installing a save a flush in your toilet cistern saves one litre of water every time you flush. Suitable for most toilet cisterns installed before 2000.
Water Wise Guide
A web guide containing tips on how to use water wisely
Environment Agency guide to flooding
Advice and information on what to do before, during and after a flood, including installing your own flood defences.
|Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs|
|Drinking Water Inspectorate|
|ENCAMS (Quality Coast and Blue Flag beach award)|
|Foundation for Water Research|
|Inland Waterways Association|
|Mersey Basin Campaign|
|North West Development Agency|
|Weaver Valley Regional Park|