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Commenting on the Environmental Agency report detailing the first increase of pollution incidents since 2012, Natalie Smith, Head of Corporate Stewardship for Water and Food at WWF, said:

“Only a fifth of rivers in England are currently deemed healthy and pollution caused by water companies is a key reason for this. Earlier this year we saw Thames Water receive a record fine for pollution which only highlights the worrying fact that improvements in water management is still desperately needed. Water companies must invest in solutions that manage the whole local catchment area such as green infrastructure and sustainable drainage systems. They simply can’t continue treating our rivers as their dumping ground. We urge the UK Government to announce a long-term plan to ensure our rivers and chalk streams are resilient, healthy and safe for the public to enjoy. This report is further evidence, that the rate of progress is still far too slow.”