The Environment Agency has launched a web-based mapping platform to help with potential water trades.
The support service is designed to complement the Agency’s ‘flexible licensing’ position during the current agricultural drought and will, for the time being, apply to East Anglia only and will remain open until 31 October 2018.
In its position statement dated 31 July, the Agency said that fast-track, short-term trades of water between willing donors and recipients (sellers/buyers) will be considered by Environment Agency area offices on a case by case basis. Viable trades must be from the same groundwater/surface water source and within the same water body (hydraulically linked).
Water volumes permitted for trading will be based on calculations of historic use with determination of volumes based on local circumstances.
Ideally, potential donors and recipients should match up with each other before seeking Environment Agency approval. The Agency’s mapping service should help with this part of the process by identifying the location of all abstraction licences and providing some general indication of its suitability for trading.
Members with comments or queries should contact SUVQX0FOR19DZW50cmFsQGVudmlyb25tZW50LWFnZW5jeS5nb3YudWs=
Paul Hammett, NFU water specialist, welcomed the launch of the Agency website, he said: “The Agency’s mapping tool complements and builds on the recently launched NFU Water Bank.
“We will be closely monitoring the performance of the mapping service as part of our desire to increase trading activity in the longer term. Although the service will be available only for a short length of time in one part of the country, the NFU hopes that it could become a permanent feature of abstraction reform."
Through its Water Bank, the NFU is supporting the information needs of members by managing a web-based ‘notice board’ where potential donors and recipients can post their water needs and availability in the expectation that they can be matched.