Spray irrigation restrictions introduced in East Anglia

25 August 2022

East Anglia
Irrigating a field of potatoes

Farmers in certain catchments in East Anglia are being placed under abstraction restrictions by the Environment Agency.

Farmers who take surface water for spray irrigation will have to reduce uptake by 50% as the Environment Agency responds to the ongoing drought conditions.

It has used its powers under Section 57 of the Water Resources Act 1991 to impose formal restrictions on river catchments in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

The catchments affected are:

Norfolk - Rivers Tud, Yare and Tas

Suffolk - Rivers Blyth, Alde, Ore, Deben, Gipping, Brett, Box and Stour

Essex - Rivers Colne and Blackwater

The restrictions are due to last from Monday 29 August until Saturday 1 November and only apply to surface water direct spray irrigators.

The Environment Agency said: "Our teams continue to monitor the situation, work with water abstractors including farmers and water companies, and are responding to reports of environmental incidents."

Members can keep up to date with the situation via the NFU's dry weather information and advice pages.

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