The Environment Agency has published a new report that outlines the impacts climate change will have on English rivers, particularly on increasing algal blooms.
Climate change will lower river flows, concentrating pollution, which will cause more algal blooms damaging wildlife and plants in rivers, wetlands and lakes.
With only 17% of England’s rivers and 23% of lakes are considered healthy, this report indicates that they are acutely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Dominic Gogol, WWF-UK’s Water Policy Manager said: “The future health of the rivers of England, requires action now from government, water companies and farmers. We must reduce the pollution that flows out of sewage treatment works and off farmland ending up in our rivers.
“To date the government has failed to work with farmers to effectively tackle these pollutants whereas the water industry, also a big polluter and responsible for a quarter of all pressures, has had to take significant steps to address them.
“With over half of nutrient pollution in rivers originating from farming and septic tanks , the government needs to work with those responsible to ensure their operations are helping to improve our precious rivers and wetlands and do not leave them vulnerable to the additional pressure from climate change.”