The guide demonstrates how businesses can save money by capturing or ‘harvesting' rainwater and using it aid production.
Rainwater harvesting systems are cost effective as they are cheap and easy to set up and maintain and, it is often possible to recover start up costs during the first few years via direct water cost savings.
They make good use of the rainwater that falls on farm buildings or land that may otherwise be wasted by reducing businesses' reliance on mains, borehole or spring water sources.
They can also reduce the risk of contamination through run-off from yards and hard standing surfaces.
The guide includes detailed information about different systems, appropriate for horticulture and agriculture, including: cost, specification and construction. Growers featured in the guide cinclude:
- Herefordshire-based soft fruit grower Haygrove whose rainwater harvesting system collects water from the poly tunnel roof drains for use in plant irrigation and plant feeding
- Lincolnshire-based Robin Buck, which produces specialist horticultural crops such as fennel, artichoke, celeriac and chicory on the fens. Rainwater harvesting provides water input for its in-store misters to maintain humidity for chicory.
- East Yorkshire-based Hedon Salads - the largest UK growers of cucumbers and aubergines and - which uses rainwater harvesting to supply water into their hydroponic plant feeding system.
- Fresca Group in Spalding which produces fresh produce and uses rainwater harvesting to supply water into their cold stores' air humidification systems.
The guide can be found at http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/GEMI1109BRGU-e-e.pdf