CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save an under-threat river have called on householders to lobby a water firm.

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Worried residents gathered at Digswell Village Hall, where David Cheek, chairman of Friends of the Mimram Society, called on them to write to Affinity Water – formerly Veolia.

The action group is calling on the company to reduce the amount of water it takes from the river, amid fears the Mimram could completely dry out.

It is also urging Affinity to close a pumping mill in Fulling Mill.

Earlier this year the Mimram, a chalk river which has been used for hundreds of years, almost completely dried up due to lack of rainfall and over abstraction.

Affinity water currently has a licence to take 25 million litres a day of water out of the river – a figure which Friends of the Mimram and the Environment Agency are trying to reduce.

Ofwat, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales, has asked the water company to consult with customers about their new water management scheme which is published every five years to show how Affinity plan to supply enough water to meet demand over the next 25 years.

A pre-consultation is currently taking place with Affinity asking for customers’ views on reducing abstraction, leakage, metering and other issues.

Mr Cheek said: “It’s important to write so that consumers who enjoy the River Mimram can make sure that Affinity Water appreciates how important it is to the community.”

Affinity’s draft plan will be submitted to the Government by the end of March next year, public consultation on this draft plan will then take place in late spring 2013.

Following that the final plan will be submitted to Defra and Ofwat for approval.

For more information, go to www.friendsofthemimram.co.uk

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