5 new research projects have launched to investigate how pollution impacts UK rivers.
Freshwater ecosystems are facing multiple pressures from a cocktail of pollutants, including chemicals, microplastics, pharmaceuticals, invasive species and land management practices.
As a result, the majority of UK rivers fail to have good ecological status, with only 14% of waterways in England, 46% in Wales, 50% in Scotland and 31% in Northern Ireland reaching the threshold.
Researchers have been awarded funding by the Natural Environment Research Council and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs from the £8.4 million understanding changes in quality of UK freshwaters programme to:
Water Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The stresses that are placed on our rivers are many and complex, from growing urban development to farming practices, increased diversity of chemicals and pharmaceuticals used by society, and pollution pressure from transport. We are going further and faster than any other government to protect and enhance the health of our rivers, including taking action to end the environmental damage caused by sewage spills. This funding is welcome. It will enable researchers to carry out vital studies monitoring and measuring pollution that find its way into our precious water courses. Monitoring the impacts of climate change will also be important. This knowledge will be used to improve the water quality in our rivers, bringing benefits now and into the future.”
Posted On: 28/11/2022