A blog to mark World Water Day

The recent floods and wet weather have brought into focus the dilemmas surrounding the use of water in the United Kingdom. The rural stakeholders who can influence the management of water will have to sort out some mixed messages and find some common ground!

We will probably all agree that we are seeing more extremes in our weather, with rising temperatures and heavier, more concentrated rainfall. The conundrum is how to balance removing water from land that supports crops and livestock, without unacceptable erosion, whilst still trying to protect urban settlements from flooding and the ensuing damage. Those in the uplands of northern England have particularly suffered this winter, with lost animals and conspicuous landscape change as a result of the ferocious power of rivers in full flood.

The issue is that farmers want their land to drain so it doesn’t lie waterlogged for too long, and the Environment Agency wants to hold water back in the upper reaches of a catchment so it takes longer to reach urban areas.

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