Many farmers have a borehole on farm, most of which are not metered. Therefore, how much water are you really using? If you are abstracting more than 20 cubic meters per day you are required to apply for a Water Abstraction Licence from the Environment Agency. Currently the application charge to apply for a new licence is £135 payable to the Environment Agency. Compare this to a potential fine of £20,000 and then the requirement to either apply for an abstraction licence, or if there is not sufficient ground water quality or availability to use mains water makes future proofing your water supply a necessity.
A recent farm visit by the EA has highlighted over abstraction of 60 cubic meters per day, the farm is now having to use mains water at an annual cost of £28,470 based on £1.30 per cube.
Utilising rainwater harvesting on farm can help to form part of a cost-effective water use and storage policy. Although Mid Tier stewardship is currently closed for new applications, Natural England are requesting farmers looking to apply for large scale Mid Tier or water only grants, to get in contact now to ensure a well-planned application can be made once the window is open early next year.
If you require further information or advice, please contact Harry at firstname.lastname@example.org or your local FCG office.