Wye irrigators urged to use water wisely

Wye valley horticulture

As flows in the River Wye continue to fall, the NFU is urging growers in the catchment to use water wisely for the remainder of the irrigation season.

It follows a request from the Environment Agency to water users in all sectors who abstract water from the River Wye to take steps wherever possible to reduce abstraction.

The Agency has asked abstractors to restrict their operations to a pattern of ‘two-days on’ wherever possible. Where that regime is not possible, abstractors are being asked to reduce their daily abstraction rate by 20%. They hope these voluntary restrictions will help to conserve water in the catchment and extend the total period when water is available for abstraction. A ban on irrigation in the Wye is not expected.

Although the peak irrigation has now passed for many growers, the NFU will continue to engage with the Environment Agency to monitor the current situation.

The NFU would particularly like to hear from members in the Wye so that we can adequately represent agricultural needs in the catchment.

  • When will your irrigation season end?
  • What % of your daily or weekly allowance are you likely to need (assuming normal weather conditions)?
  • Will you be able to comply with the requested 20% volume reduction?
  • Will there be any adverse impact on your business?

Please send your comments to d2VzdC5taWRsYW5kc0BuZnUub3JnLnVr

Farmers seeking help and support on ways to save water can visit: