he River Stour could be at risk if plans by water companies to increase their supply network are given the go-ahead.
A public inquiry has been launched into the strategy, which critics say would fail to meet future demand or provide secure supplies during times of drought.
In particular, there could be more water being pumped from the Stour to make up the shortfall, say conservation campaigners.
Protect Kent’s Graham Warren said: “There has been a lack of joined-up thinking between the water companies, despite attempts to get them to work together.
“In addition, the companies have been given a strong steer from the regulators that only the cheapest options can be pursued.
“We believe this puts both our supplies, and Kent’s fragile rivers, at risk.”
He said the group had “severe technical reserv-ations” about proposed new groundwater sources and a new reservoir at Broad Oak, near Canterbury:
“We think they won’t work. In dry periods, as we’ve had in recent years, this means more frequent hosepipe bans and more pumping from the Medway and the Stour at a time when the wildlife of these rivers is at its most vulnerable.”
Protect Kent deputy director Sean Furey said: “Our concern is what impact the proposed reservoir and plans would have."
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