Water Abstraction Reforms Must Deliver Fairness for Farmers, Says Union18 December 2013
UK - Reform of the 50-year-old abstraction licensing regime must ensure a fair share of water for farming, the NFU said this week.
Environment minister Dan Rogerson has launched a Government consultation which the NFU believes will provide an ideal opportunity to deliver a new system that makes the link between food security and water security.
NFU water resources specialist Paul Hammett said: “NFU members want more flexibility in how they use water, but their top priority is security of supply. How can we create a system that is responsive to drought conditions and how will water be shared out when there’s just not enough to go around? Farmers want to be reassured that a new system will give farmers fair and equitable access to water - something that’s missing from the current system.
“The consultation also includes proposals to make trading water much quicker and easier. Trading is definitely part of the jigsaw but why wait for complicated reform? Let’s look at the existing trading rules and see how we can make them work better now.”
The NFU will now be consulting widely with its members’ to explain the implications of Defra’s proposals and to obtain their views.
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