water

This page is to connect organisations, projects and resources that have an interest in improving the quality of our water sources.

Water is an important nexus for agriculture, with a large number of organisations and stakeholders having a shared interested in the objective of achieving consistent clean water sources.

The interplay between agriculture and clean water is a complex and crucial relationship that highlights both challenges and opportunities:

  1. Water Source Contamination: Agriculture can impact water quality through the runoff of fertilizers, pesticides, and manure into nearby water bodies. This contamination poses risks to aquatic ecosystems and the availability of clean water for communities.

  2. Erosion Control: Effective soil and water conservation practices in agriculture, such as contour farming and cover cropping, can reduce soil erosion. This, in turn, prevents sedimentation in rivers and lakes, helping to maintain clean water quality.

  3. Irrigation Efficiency: Agriculture is a major water user, especially in regions with limited water resources. Implementing efficient irrigation methods, like drip irrigation, reduces water wastage, conserving this precious resource.

  4. Wetland Preservation: Wetlands play a crucial role in filtering pollutants from agricultural runoff. Protecting and restoring wetland ecosystems can enhance water quality and serve as natural buffers against contamination.

  5. Nutrient Management: Careful management of nutrient application in agriculture can prevent excess nitrogen and phosphorus from entering water bodies, which can cause harmful algal blooms and "dead zones." Precision farming techniques help optimize nutrient use.

  6. Buffer Zones: Planting buffer strips of vegetation along waterways can trap pollutants and prevent them from reaching streams and rivers, improving water quality while providing habitat for wildlife.

  7. Water Recycling: Some agricultural operations employ water recycling systems to reduce the discharge of contaminated water and conserve resources.

  8. Aquaculture and Integrated Farming: Combining aquaculture (fish farming) with agriculture in integrated farming systems can help recycle nutrients and reduce the environmental impact of both sectors on water quality.

  9. Regulations and Best Practices: Governments and organizations often set regulations and promote best management practices to minimize the negative impact of agriculture on water quality. Farmers are encouraged to adopt these guidelines voluntarily.

  10. Research and Innovation: Ongoing research and technological advancements in agriculture aim to develop more sustainable practices that minimize water pollution while maintaining agricultural productivity.

In summary, the interplay between agriculture and clean water is a delicate balance. While agriculture can pose challenges to water quality, it also offers opportunities for positive change. By implementing sustainable practices, improving efficiency, and working in harmony with the environment, agriculture can play a significant role in preserving and enhancing clean water resources for current and future generations.

 

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Related Organisations

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Connected Content

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Catchment Sensitive Farming is a free farm advice programme funded by the UK government. It works with farmers, communities, and organisations across England to improve the quality of water, air, and sustainable water management.

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Guide explaining what Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) can do for your business. Catchment Sensitive Farming Advisers work with farmers to produce food in a way that protects water, air and soil; minimising losses and maximising efficiencies. Your CSF Adviser is locally based with an understanding of the challenges farmers face. They will work alongside you to take the latest advice and tailor it to best benefit your business.

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Cover crops are grown primarily to ‘protect or improve’ soils between periods of regular crop production. They can be effective at improving soil functions by increasing soil nutrient and water retention, improving soil structure/quality, reducing the risk of soil erosion, surface run-off and diffuse pollution by providing soil cover and by managing weeds or soil-borne pests.  

Physical and online conference at Harper Adams Soil & Water Management Centre on 7th December.

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Anglian Water were involved with UK agricultural colleges, CSF, EA and Natural England to run the Great Farm Challenge. This involved interactive workshops and a farm visit with each college. Each college then wrote up a report about their learnings and the students who performed the best were invited to a GFC Final Day to present thier findings. Winners recieved vouchers and a farming press subcription. GFC hasnt run for the last year- is this something the industry would like to bring back?

Nutrient neutrality is a new issue of major importance to the UK. There are 74 planning areas in the UK where residential development has been held up until a solution is found to prevent absolute levels of P (reported as phosphorus not phosphate) and N (nitrogen) increasing in order to protect valuable habitats. The ruling is is often referred to as the "Dutch N" case. The calculation is complex and depends on the efficiency and any headroom of existing waste water treatment works (WWTW). WWTW are also to be subject to reductions in permitted nutrient emission in 2030.

An interesting perspective on how Regenerative Agriculture can help improve water quality in catc

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This Topic doesn't yet have a Stewarded summary, but connected groups, content and organisations show below. Click the 'Ask to Join' button if you would like to be a Steward for this Topic and provide a summary of current knowledge and recommend useful resources, organisations, networks and projects. "Like" this Topic if you would like to see it prioritised for providing a wikipedia style summary.

After a successful pilot last year, Anglian Water are widening the Innovation Grant offer this Autumn, with applications open from 17 October-30 November 2022.

This innovative project will protect The Fens from the impacts of climate change, like flooding and drought, and show how collaboration can change the way we think about managing water in our communities.

A partnership of agricultural, environmental and governmental bodies, promoting good environmental management through productive farming practices.

Dyson Farming are trialling a range of cover crop species together with Anglian Water and Boston Seeds. Cover crops benefit soils by protecting them from excess water, ice and wind and also maintain nitrogen levels and other nutrients to benefit the next crop.

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Scientific Paper with evaluation of digital tools from

Field drainage guide - Principles, installations and maintenance

A major reason for the predominant failure of translational research from laboratory to field is

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