Agriculture: Water Abstraction

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered am ar 15 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency regulates water abstraction in England. The information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Environment Agency’s ‘Managing Water Abstraction Service’ enables abstraction licence holders to submit records of how much water they had taken electronically rather than on paper. The Environment Agency estimates quicker, and easier submission of returns data digitally saves abstractors £247k each year. Some 95% of returns now come into the Environment Agency digitally.

Defra is working on rolling out a Water Farm Practices Water Survey involving crop types and volumes of water used. This will be an extension of the annual farming practices survey, which provides a snapshot of the farming landscape across England. It will give an opportunity to update data last collected in 2010 on agricultural water management.

Natural England is this week due to report on its latest phase of Catchment Sensitive Farming water advisory visits in the Southwest of England.

As part of the Prime Minister’s commitment at last year’s Farm to Fork Summit Defra has funded an agriculture project on supply demand balances which have been piloted in Cambridgeshire and will be rolled out to wider parts of England. The water data from this work will be used to update the next round of Regional Water Resource Plans on agriculture water requirements (together with the Environment Agency’s Water Resources National Framework which will be published next spring). A sister project funded by Defra will also include agriculture water use data to assess and screen local resource options (such as reservoirs and rainwater harvesting) to help groups of farmers improve their water resilience.

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