Within the Kennet catchment there are over-abstraction issues which leave the river without enough water to support a healthy ecosystem.
For over 20 years there has been local concern that flows in the Upper Kennet above Marlborough have been affected by over-abstraction. There have been several abstraction studies in the catchment driven by the Habitats Directive (HD), the Restoring Sustainable Abstraction Programme (RSA), and the production of the Kennet and Pang Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy (CAMS).
Designed to improve flow
A breakthrough came in 2014 when the Environment Agency issued a notice reducing the permitted abstraction from Axford and revoking the abstraction licence on the little River Og. These abstraction reductions should be in place by 2017 and are designed to improve flows below Axford to support ‘good ecological status’.
Thames Water will supply Swindon with water via a new pipeline from a reservoir watersource instead of using water from the Kennet Valley aquifer. Work on the new pipeline project is in progress.
The West Berkshire Groundwater Scheme (an Environment Agency responsibility) supplies water to the Letcombe Brook and provides mitigation for the impacts of the Enborne wellfield under very dry conditions.