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River trials in Mere
RIVERS in Mere are to be monitored by Wessex Water after some of the town’s streams started disappearing.
Wessex Water and the Mere Rivers Group are carrying out a one-month trial to assess the impact of water extraction. The Mere source provides about eight megalitres of water a day to the Mere, Bowden, Stour, and Gillingham areas, while 43 per cent of the supply is transferred to the Yeovil area.
Concerns were raised that two chalk streams in Mere, tributaries of the River Stour, were disappearing in 2011.
Wessex Water had planned to carry out the trial in the summer last year but it was postponed due to heavy rainfall.
In the next few weeks, the firm will be installing gauges on the Shreen and the Ashfield Water to give an indication of the effect of water economy and usage on the flow of the rivers.
During the trial, the firm will attempt to replace the water that is usually transferred to the Yeovil area with water from other sources so all of the abstracted water from the Mere source can be used locally. Mere Rivers Group will lead a promotion of water efficiency throughout the trial and trained river monitors will work with the Environment Agency and Wessex Water to continue with macroinvertebrate studies and wildlife monitoring.
They will also survey the Winterbourne signature, which tracks where the rivers rise throughout the year. Measurements and observations will be recorded at wessexwater.co.uk.