NFU calls for river abstraction extension for growers

The NFU has called on the Government to extend beyond the end of March the period in which farmers can abstract water from rivers to fill reservoirs for summer use if enough rain falls by then.

At the second drought summit in London on Monday, NFU vice-president Gwyn Jones also said reclassifying "large" reservoirs as above 25,000cu m "would take away many potentially-onerous regulatory obligations and additional costs that put many farmers off building larger reservoirs".

He added: "Only when we tackle the long-term issue of water management and work together will we be able to properly manage this most precious natural resource."

Country Land & Business Association president Harry Cotterell said: "Other sectors have priority over agriculture, but to ensure food and environmental security it is vital that we are given our fair share of water."

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