Irrigation prospects: Initial forecast for 2019

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The Environment Agency has published its initial forecast for irrigation prospects across key crop growing catchments.

The first report, expected to be the first in a series of updates as the irrigation season develops, was shared with visitors to the Irrigex exhibition and conference in Peterborough.

In summary:

The prospects for water resources availability for irrigation in Yorkshire for spring - summer 2019 are moderate.

In Kent and the South London Area the water resource availability is good to moderate.

The overall summer prospects for water resources availability for spray irrigation in East Anglia are currently moderate to moderate/poor.

The prospects for water resources availability for irrigation in Hertfordshire and North London are currently moderate, and likely to remain moderate based on the latest weather forecasts.

A slow start to the recharge period and a dry January means that the overall summer prospects for water resources availability for irrigation in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire are currently moderate. 

:: Further information and an explanation of drought terms such as ‘moderate’ can be found in the Environment Agency's overview here.

Paul Hammett, NFU's water specialist urged growers to monitor irrigation prospect announcements from the Environment Agency as they are updated in the months ahead. He said: “A return to wet weather conditions could still turn the situation around, but summer drought measures are increasingly likely if dry weather persists, and time is running out to fill farm reservoirs."

What's the NFU doing about irrigation?

The NFU will be organising a series of member meetings to discuss local irrigation prospects, the risk of summer irrigation restrictions, and opportunities offered by the Environment Agency’s flexible licensing position.

The NFU is keen to hear from members as part of our 2019 Dry Weather Survey to help us represent the farming sector at forthcoming discussions with government and its agencies.

More of our work on water and irrigation:


Last edited on: 27:02:2019

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