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Water Industry Regulator Recognises Farmers' Role

by 5m Editor
2 December 2009, at 10:00a.m.

UK - The NFU has praised a move by water industry regulator Ofwat to limit water bills for farmers and growers.

As water is an essential input in every agricultural business, used by farmers and growers for a range of different activities including watering livestock, irrigating crops, washing down buildings and in packing houses, any limit to potential increases is good news.

As part of its announcement on water company bills and investment for the next five years, the regulator has also given recognition to the role of catchment management schemes to help tackle diffuse pollution in water.

NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond said: "Striking a balance between continued investment and keeping bills down is a real challenge. Ofwat has recognised the success of catchment management approaches, working in partnership with farmers, to help improve water quality.

"Our direct involvement in a pilot catchment management scheme the WagriCo project, working closely with Wessex Water and others, clearly demonstrated to us that early farmer engagement, robust evidence and good advice are all key to the success of any catchment scheme.

"We look forward to working in partnership with Water UK and water companies to help make these schemes work on the ground."

Ofwat's announcement, based on business plans published by each water company, allows some 100 catchment management schemes to take place.