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Water pollution spending 'not value for money'.

Summary: National Audit Office: Money spent on tackling water pollution each year has had little impact and has not proved value for money.

Millions of pounds spent on tackling water pollution each year has had little impact and has not proved value for money, the National Audit Office say.

The public spending watchdog said the Environment Agency (EA) spent Au8 million annually tackling "diffuse" water pollution, such as run-off from agricultural land and roads.

But last year only 26 per cent of rivers, lakes and other bodies of water in England met required European levels for water quality.

According to the National Audit Office (NAO) a failure to meet the EU requirements, which demand 60 per cent of water bodies reach good standards by 2027, could potentially lead to fines of up to Au250 million a year.

A report by the NAO said the EA had not sufficiently identified the extent to which the failure of lakes and rivers to meet water quality standards is down to diffuse pollution, as opposed to "point sources" - single identifiable places such as a sewage works.

The study said the agency was targeting the agricultural sector as the main source of diffuse pollution, which comes from multiple dispersed sources such as fields and roads.

Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Jul 9, 2010
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