Cranfield University and UKIA win top award for on-farm reservoir project

Cranfield University and the UK Irrigation Association (UKIA) have won a top award for their research and promotion of on-farm reservoirs.

Dr Keith Weatherhead and Dr Jerry Knox of the Cranfield University's Centre for Water Science and UKIA executive secretary Melvyn Kay won the WatSave 2010 Technology Award from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). The annual ICID WatSave Awards recognise outstanding contributions to water conservation or saving.

Their winning project, proposed and funded by the Environment Agency, promotes the use of on-farm reservoirs to store surplus winter water for use in summer. This helps protect the environment and conserves water.

The judges noted that although this was not new technology, "its application here, by water professionals campaigning for farmers to invest in storage on their own land, was worthy of award. The construction of on-farm reservoirs (in the UK) has provided the water security essential to achieve timely production of high-quality food that reduces water wastage."

Information booklet Thinking About an Irrigation Reservoir? was published as a result of the project, which gives growers guidelines to help them install on-farm reservoirs. It can be downloaded from

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