Arable News

  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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Annual UK Irrigation Association Conference 2nd March 2016

Water security and food security: Risks, uncertainties, and opportunities is the focus of the UKIAs (UK Irrigation Association) annual conference taking place on 2nd March at the Orton Hall Hotel,Peterborough.

In 2015 the World Economic Forum declared water resources as the greatest risk facing society, says UKIA. In the UK, we normally have sufficient water resources to meet demand but we are not immune from droughts as we saw only too well in 20112012. More worrying is that over half our food is imported from countries that experience much greater water scarcity, highlighting significant risks to the resilience of our food supply chain, particularly for fresh fruit and vegetables, comments the organisation.

As the demand for water grows, farmers need to better understand and influence the way the water world works in order to ensure a fair share of water for agriculture how to reduce drought risks,cope with potential impacts of abstraction reform and the WFD, and what pathways we need to follow to integrate future agricultural water demands with those of the water utilities and the aquatic environment.

The UKIA says that it has a great line up of leading experts to discuss the latest thinking on these key issues, plus two special guests: Professor Tim Benton who is UK Champion for global food security and Professor Joaqun Andreu lvarez from the University of Valencia,who is one of Spain’s leading drought management experts.

This conference is aimed at all farmers and growers who irrigate, consultants, suppliers, and researchers who want to make surethat agriculture gets a fair share of UK water resources.

The line up of speakers includes:

Tim Papworth LF Papworth Ltd, BAWAG and UKIA Council (Chairman)

Henry Leveson-Gower Head ofAbstraction Reform DEFRA – Abstraction licence reform: the planned approach

Trevor BishopDirector of Water resources, Environment Agency – Managing drought: changing pressures and new approaches

Ian Holman Cranfield University – Managing the risks, impacts, and uncertainty of drought

Jamie Lockhart Honingham Thorpe Farms & Chairman BAWAG – Can abstractor groups help to reduce risk and uncertainty?

Ian Barker Water Policy ConsultantOECD – International approaches to water allocation and governance: why do they matter for UK agriculture?

Steve Moncaster SupplyDemand Strategy Manager, Anglian Water – Integrating water demands from agriculture, utilities, and the environment

Special guests:

Professor Tim Benton UKChampion for Global Food Security water – Risks and resilience of the global food system: the importance of water and weather

Joaqun Andreu lvare zUniversity of Valencia – Drought management in agriculture: experiences fromSpain

Full details and registration:



  • Written by: Farmers Guide
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