The Cam is 'drying-up'

Published: Thursday, 07 November 2019

THE state of the Cam is so bad that a 'water crisis forum' was held on Tuesday.

This was to discuss problems of over-abstraction and reduced river flow, with councillors and experts  attending to take part in the discussion to solve the problem, Alan Tilbury reports.

Environmental pressure

The Environment Agency has recognised that the Cam is under environmental pressure due to combined abstraction and the lack of winter rainfall over the last 12 to18 months, and is suffering in terms of the ecological scores that are monitored.

The councillor, Katie Thornburrow, who called the forum stated:

“We have got to conserve as much as we can, we need to sort out leaks, we need to build as efficiently as possible, we need to use less, we need to really appreciate the water and biology and ecology we have got and preserve what we’ve got. My worry is if this continues next year the Cam is going to be dead. It will be absolutely terrible, it will be an ecological disaster.”

Not enough water

The Cam Valley Forum released a manifesto for the river earlier this year that stated that the 'River Cam does not have enough water flow to function properly'.

Another at the forum explained it was not just an issue of algae and a threat to fish, but a threat to the entire ecosystem the rivers support, including birds, water voles and other wildlife.

However a member told it was accepted that the recent rainfall has improved some of the flows locally, and that if it continues we will see the river bounce back.  But certainly over the summer and into the autumn of 2019 it has been suffering worse than it has in previous years.