Water for crops ‘should be given priority use’, argues Water for Food Group

Farmers and food processors are calling for a “fair share” of water to grow UK crops and for food production to be designated as an ‘essential water need’.

“Given the importance of food as essential for life, many people may be surprised that water for food isn’t already acknowledged as a priority use,” said National Farmers’ Union (NFU) vice president Guy Smith.

The Water for Food Group, an alliance of farmers’, growers, processors’ and manufacturers’ groups, argues water for food production should be designated alongside water for people and for energy, and prioritised accordingly as part of water abstraction reform proposals.

“With Government currently reviewing the system of how to allocate water between different users when there isn’t enough to meet everybody’s needs, it is timely for us to ask for a fair share of water to grow the nation’s food,” said Guy, an arable farmer at St Osyth, Clacton.