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New study to address water legislation concerns

Concerns about the impact of new water legislation on the licensing system for water abstraction have led the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to invite researchers to tender for a new project to investigate current water use by potato and horticultural growers.



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The new research, for which AHDB is providing £100,000 in funding, is expected to provide evidence about water use, resilience and impacts of proposed legislative changes on the potato and horticulture sectors’ water abstraction throughout Britain.

 

The idea is to gain better understanding of challenges growers are already facing concerning water resources at national level before new long-term water abstraction reform goes ahead. Although there have been smaller surveys already completed, current information on the national picture on water usage in agriculture is only available up to 2010. Since then, a number of extreme weather events, both wet and dry, have taken place and the aim is to capture grower responses to these.

 

AHDB-Potatoes technical executive Jenny Bashford says: “We are looking at potential threats and opportunities and how we can help agriculture going forward. This will give us a firm basis for our activities to help growers adapt to changes in how water is managed in England, Scotland and Wales.”

 

Changes are to be made by Defra and the Scottish and Welsh Governments which will form part of wider changes being made to how water is managed to comply with EU environmental obligations and increasing pressures on water resources.

 

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