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Advice for farmers and growers on water restrictions

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Our water resources specialist has provided some advice to help farming and growing businesses in areas affected by water use restrictions.

Resources Management Scientist, Nicola Dunn, said: “Following last year’s drought and a dry winter, we’ve been monitoring the water resource situation closely this season.

“Earlier in the year we warned that irrigation may be interrupted later in the season. While there has been some rainfall, water resources are still challenged particularly in the east and south east of the country.

“In affected areas, the Environment Agency will contact farmers and growers who irrigate crops to update them on any formal ‘Section 57’ (S57) restrictions. These are rarely used and this year will cover direct spray irrigation from surface watercourses only. Restrictions apply to certain catchments only, and should not come as a surprise to affected growers in East Anglia.

“If not already, we would encourage growers to liaise with the Environment Agency if contacted by them regarding S57 restrictions to ensure they understand the requirements and how they affect their business.

“AHDB has advice and guidance for farmers and growers on Section 57 Notices and those dealing with extreme weather like drought or heat on our website at ahdb.org.uk/weather.  

“Information on water abstraction licences is available on gov.uk.”

What is a section 57 restriction?