I met recently with the public affairs manager at Yorkshire Water, who wanted to talk to me about the impact of European legislation on the water industry.
His account was entirely positive. According to Yorkshire Water, Europe-wide agreements on environmental standards for rivers, drinking water and bathing water all continue to steer investment for the company, helping to make it commercially viable for them to invest millions in improving water quality.
Following our meeting, Yorkshire Water was so keen to emphasise the ongoing benefits to them of the UK’s EU membership that they sent me a detailed briefing note with more information. I’ve uploaded the entire briefing note to my website, but here are some choice quotes:
European legislation has a significant impact on the running of Yorkshire Water and has brought many substantial benefits to our region.
The Water Framework Directive has led to significant environmental changes in Yorkshire. These improvements are good for Yorkshire Water and good for our region. We have a higher quality environment as well as higher quality drinking and bathing water.
Our rivers have significantly benefited as they are no longer industrial and have seen an increase in biodiversity. We want to focus on bringing people back to rivers to enjoy them. Helping to protect our rivers and taking care of this vital piece of Yorkshire is also a way in which we’re living up to our company Vision of ‘taking responsibility for the water environment for good’.
The quality of sea water at officially designated bathing beaches is monitored and measured each and every year. For over 30 years the European Bathing Water Directive has set the standards for these bathing waters and has driven huge improvements in water quality. Bathing water quality in the region is already very high, but new European standards are raising the bar.