Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Search

Environment Agency agrees to relax abstraction rules to help farmers cope with drought conditions

PUBLISHED: 16:34 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 01 August 2018

The Environment Agency has agreed to help farmers hit by the heatwave as they reach the limit of abstraction licences Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The Environment Agency has agreed to help farmers hit by the heatwave as they reach the limit of abstraction licences Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

The Environment Agency said it would offer flexibility on water abstraction licensing to farmers to help with drought conditions following a series of meetings.

The flexibility, which would be on an emergency and short-term basis, follows representations from a range of groups, including the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), after the drought situation worsened.

Speaking at the NFU’s agricultural drought summit on Wednesday, August 1, Environment Agency chair Emma Howard Boyd said: “We are working closely with the NFU and the wider farming community to make sure farmers have access to water to produce food and run their businesses. We will provide flexible abstraction licensing where possible as long as we can be sure it does not adversely impact other water users and the environment.”

The news will be welcomed by growers who are swiftly running out of water for fruit and vegetable production as they use up their annual abstraction volumes, while livestock who rely on drinking water from abstracted sources are at risk.

NFU water specialist Paul Hammett told the summit that British growers achieve remarkably high levels of self-sufficiency in the production of fruit and vegetables.

“We are pleased that the agency has committed itself to rapid decision-making on short term abstractions,” he said.

The EA has stressed that no ‘blanket’ exemptions will be available and under no circumstances can abstractors operate outside the terms of their existing abstraction licences without prior approval.

It is expected that where proposals can be approved, decisions will be made in days and without the need to vary or modify existing licences.

Interested parties should contact the Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506.

Fresh concerns have been raised over the quality of Suffolk schools as the latest data has revealed soaring numbers are being judged ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted.

A Suffolk council has been accused of “wasting” £10,000 on a “bodged job” to improve a memorial boating lake.

Watch our video of this £500,000 Victorian property which has a wine store and a walk in wardrobe.

This week Suffolk Saab owners have been discussing why they love the Swedish vehicles on Twitter while Ipswich Town fans have been paying tribute to the late, great Kevin Beattie.

More than 200 services have been delayed on Greater Anglia’s main line this weekend - with unforeseen maintenance issues compounding disruption caused by planned works on the track to London Liverpool Street.

A village is set to get a fourth defibrillator after a landlord saved the life of a man who suffered a heart attack in his pub.

Leave extra time for your journey if it’s likely to be affected by roadworks.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24