‘Don’t put our water at risk’ says Green MEP

9 March 2012

Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for Sussex and the South East today met with campaigners at Ardingly reservoir in Sussex to give support to their concerns over the possible impacts fracking could have on local water supplies. Ardingly reservoir, which supplies over 65,000 homes in Sussex with water, is close to the village of Balcombe where permission has been given for exploratory fracking (hydraulic fracturing) to extract shale gas.

Keith said: "Given yesterday's announcement of drought in the region it's vital that we do not put our limited water supplies at risk. In America the commercial use of fracking to extract shale gas has led to concerns about water contamination and some people have needed to boil their water before drinking."

He continued: "With water at such a premium in the South East region we can't afford to gamble with what little we have. Taking any decision to procced with fracking without a full understanding of its possible effects is reckless. That's why I'm calling for an immediate moratorium on fracking until we understand more fully the environmental impact it can have."

In the USA fracking has been associated with risks to drinking water sources. Water from Ardingly reservoir is fed into the river Ouse, leading to concerns about potential impacts on the local water supply as well as the surrounding environment and wildlife.

Keith has contacted South East Water who manage the reservoir. They said that "although water companies would not wish to hinder economic development there is a view that the risks to water supplies (and in particular drinking water supplies) need to be addressed to ensure the safety of our customers' water quality is maintained."

 


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