Lee Upper Management Catchment

Operational catchments

There are 1 operational catchments in this management catchment.

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    Catchment Partnerships Pages

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    Rivers within the Upper Lee catchment extend to over 320km. Their distribution means not one of the catchments 700,000 residents is further than 5km from a river. This extensive blue infrastructure is recognised in the areas status as a locally determined Nature Improvement Area. Here local groups have committed to significant landscape scale environmental improvement. Across the catchment, the character of the rivers varies considerably. In urban areas like Luton, rivers typically run in man-made channels and culverts, only making an appearance as they flow through parks and green spaces. Some towns like Harlow, Hertford and Bishops Stortford, have historic navigations running near or through them, providing a valued link between town and country. In rural areas, picturesque rivers, including rare chalk rivers, wind their way through small settlements. As a result, the way the rivers are perceived by local people, and the value they place in them, varies widely across the catchment. The catchment is an area of water stress, where average daily water use is amongst the highest in the country. Groundwater and rivers supply water for local people, and 90% of water abstracted is used for this purpose. This groundwater abstraction impacts on the amount of water available in the environment. In particular, this impacts the rivers in the catchment, which depend on an adequate supply of groundwater. River users, businesses and organisations are working together to identify ways of reducing abstraction, using water more wisely and, improving the quantity and quality of water in the environment.

    Culvert cleaning near the River Beane at Waterford Marsh, Hertfordshire