In response to Robert's demands, Thames Water has announced that is has commissioned an independent investigation into the health of the River Windrush.
The investigation will be undertaken by the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH), an independent, not-for-profit research institute with expertise in the research of water quality.
In a recent letter to Robert, Thames Water’s Sustainability Director, Richard Aylard, stated: “In response to your recommendation, we have commissioned the UKCEH to undertake an investigation to seek to identify the extent and location, and hence potential sources, of the turbidity problems in the river [Windrush].”
A longitudinal survey along the river and its major tributaries will be undertaken on four occasions, with at least two being completed before the next Water Day, organised by West Oxfordshire District Council, in October 2020. The intention is to cover a range of conditions, including a period of low flow, during or immediately after heavy rain and during a high turbidity episode.
Upon completion of the surveys UKCEH will provide all the survey data and a report to Thames Water, which will be shared publicly.
The announcement is a victory for Robert, who has long campaigned for a thorough, independent investigation into the health of the river. Robert has been calling on Thames Water to fund an urgent investigation and recently met with the Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, to press his case.
Robert is due to meet with Thames Water and the Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP) campaign group, who he has worked closely with, later this month.
Speaking after the announcement, Robert commented: “I warmly welcome the announcement of an independent investigation into the health of the River Windrush, something I have been campaigning for for some time.
“This thorough scientific study will enable us to establish whether there has been a decline in the health of the Windrush and, if indeed there has been, to understand precisely what is causing it so that appropriate and effective action can be taken.”