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Farmers urged to ‘irrigate responsibly’ during ongoing dry spell

ADA technical manager Ian Moodie said farmers and growers must work with their local internal drainage board to conserve water. 


Lauren   Dean

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Lauren   Dean
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credit: Philip Brewin, ecologist at Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium.
credit: Philip Brewin, ecologist at Somerset Drainage Boards Consortium.
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Farmers urged to ‘irrigate responsibly’ during ongoing dry spell

Farmers tackling the dry weather have been urged to ‘irrigate responsibly’ despite flashes of rain splattering the country early this morning.

 

Ian Moodie, technical manager of the Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA) said farmers and growers must work with their local internal drainage board (IDB) to conserve water and ‘take steps to irrigate responsibly’.

 

He said IDBs in areas like the Fens or Somerset Levels have been doing ‘what they can’ to store and save water.

 

“Damming off drains could be detrimental to neighbouring farms or the environment, and it is an offence to obstruct the flow of any ordinary watercourse without the consent of the local IDB or Lead Local Flood Authority,” Mr Moodie said.


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“IDBs are working to pen water levels at or above typical summer levels by reducing or stopping pumping, maximising the water available within their systems for irrigation, the environment and other local needs.

 

“To take Somerset as an example, the IDBs there have invested more than £8 million in recent years to improving water level control and flow regulation structures to minimise leaks and water losses.

 

“This work was funded by Defra and has boosted the resilience on local nature conservation areas (SSSIs) to the impacts of low flows and drought conditions.”

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