The Environment Agency (EA) has offered more flexibility in the water abstraction licensing system for UK farmers to assist them during the current agricultural drought.
According to the group, 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 and livestock who rely on drinking water from abstracted sources become at risk.
The announcement follows a series of meetings with the EA and Defra where NFU staff, members and representatives of the Water for Food Group of farming and growing organisations called for “urgent government support”.
EA 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.”