Suffolk: ‘Water supply issue must be solved’, say county farming and business leaders
FARMING and business leaders called for Suffolk’s water supply problems to be resolved as they gathered for a summit on the issue.
Among those attending the Suffolk Business Community Liaison Group meeting, which took place in Ipswich on Friday, October 26, were politicians including MP Tim Yeo, business and farming leaders and representatives from the Environment Agency, Anglian Water and the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Delegates heard that a series of measures such as minimising water use in new developments, water metering and water efficiency measures, as well as reducing demand from businesses and other users can help achieve water neutrality.
Anglian Water said it was working on reducing leaks, pressure management metering and water efficiency in order to keep demand down.
Federation of Small Businesses Suffolk branch chairman Chris Soule said: “Water underpins Suffolk’s economy, not just for farmers but also for important inward investment and, of course, we need more housing. Yet Suffolk has water supply problems.
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“Working together with the MPs, water companies, the Environment Agency, the local political leaders and our councils we, the Suffolk Business Community Liaison Group, hope to move towards a successful conclusion to this long standing problem.
“The business community from farmers to industrialists need a successful outcome, one that establishes Suffolk as the place to be and do business.”
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Delegates heard a series of presentation, including one from Country Land and Business Association East’s Tim Isaac, who stressed the need to make it easier for farmers to build reservoirs in order to achieve water savings..
“If we are to achieve food and environmental security then a fundamental requirement is a sufficient capacity to capture and store water,” he said. “On-farm reservoirs have a multitude of social, economic and environmental benefits.
“We need to build more and quickly if we are to meet the challenges of producing more for less in a changing climate. Unfortunately, what should be a relatively straightforward operation is currently beset with problems. We must reduce the regulatory burden on reservoir creation and management now, otherwise we run the very real risk of harming our own and future generations.”
A growing population meant reliance on water would rise, the meeting heard. The liaison group said land managers should be supported and rewarded for delivering and managing sustainable supplies of water.