Defra publishes Water Abstraction Plan
The document sets out how the government will reform water abstraction management over the coming years and how this will protect the environment and improve access to water and covers all aspects of abstraction including:
Addressing unsustainable abstraction
Developing a stronger catchment focus including initial priority catchments
Modernising the service
Key milestones through to 2027.
Deadline extended for reservoir grant scheme
The grant scheme to support investment to secure water supplies and help businesses to grow has been extended from the original deadline of 3 April 2018 to 29 June 2018 following complaints that the original end date did not give growers enough time to get the necessary quotations and permissions.
A reminder about renewing time-limited licences
The Environment Agency have reminded us that there are a large number of abstraction licences expiring at the end of March 2018. So far they have only received less than half of the expected renewal applications. If this affects you then you need to submit your renewal application without delay or contact the HTA Nursery Stock Advice Line for help in completing the forms.
Changes to water abstraction exemptions
Defra has now issued a statement that all exempt abstractions will be brought into the licencing system. Previously exempt abstractions for many growers includes drip irrigation and hydroponics.
From 1 January 2018, it will be a requirement to apply for a water resources abstraction licence from the Environment Agency where more than 20 cubic metres a day is abstracted for a previously exempt activity. You have two years in which to do this. This could affect around 5,000 abstractors.
Read more details....
Early warning signs of possible low water availability next spring?
Check out monthly water situation reports from the EA.
Monthly reports cover all England areas. In East Anglia, the past two months had a very low rainfall, 57% of long term average. The majority of river flows continue to decrease, with 85% of observation sites below normal range. The low rainfall has slowed down the normal recharge process this season, causing majority of groundwater levels to continue to be below average Unless we have a significant rainfall this winter things will start with a groundwater deficit next spring. Fill your reservoirs now whenever you can and use the winter period to get all your equipment in good working order and efficient.