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Part 5: Recommendations

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1) The Secretary of State for DEFRA (currently Thérèse Coffey MP) to reject plans to amend the legislation that requires 75% of English rivers to achieve ‘good’ status by 2027.

2) DEFRA to bring forward the enforcement[EA1] date for the increase in Variable Monetary Penalties for polluting water companies to 1st February 2023.

3) DEFRA to strengthen the effectiveness of the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan (SODRP) by making the following amendments:

  • Amendment A: Reduce the maximum achievement date on all SODRP targets to be 2035 rather than 2050.
  • Amendment B: Prohibit water companies from increasing water bills to fund the critical infrastructure investment required.

4) The Environmental Agency to accelerate the speed at which citizen science is integrated into formal data collection activities for developing evidenced-based policies.

5) Use funds raised from the increase in Variable Monetary Penalties for polluting water companies, to increase the criminal prosecution rates of those who damage water quality.

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