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Home > WaterR2B > Sectors > Farming and Food

Farming and Food

The farming sector is highly dependent upon water – requiring an assured supply of adequate quality water during key growing / harvesting periods in order to maintain steady productivity. The sector must also respond to the extremes of flooding and drought which disrupt operations and are the cause of a variety of different types of loss. A perception that the UK is suffering more frequent extreme events (floods and droughts) is driving many farmers to increase their resilience to such extremes through both new infrastructure (reservoirs and flood protection) and by using more adaptive business models. New approaches to farming has seen the development of catchment wide collaborative schemes, for which NERC has been key provider of knowledge about water, soils, vegetation and ecosystems.

Like many other major industry sectors, the grocery sector is dedicating substantial efforts to reduce their water related risks to their supply chain. Water is now seen as a key issue by the grocery sector, where goods are sourced from around the world, some of which are highly water stressed.  Water related risks are no longer an issue of just public relations and social responsibility – but a major factor affecting financial performance, and even survival, of larger corporations.

NERC science has supported the development of a wide range of the methods and tools used by the farming and food industries, including :

 
 
1 comment
Sector: Farming and Food
Agricultural diffuse pollution, particularly from nitrate and phosphate, is a significant problem in the UK and is the focus of the national Demonstration Test Catchments (DTC) study — a UK Government initiative.
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Sector: Farming and Food
The most important characteristic of Evian water is its high purity, which results from filtration of the water through soils and rocks and other natural elements of the landscape, such as wetlands.
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Sector: Farming and Food
As a contribution to improving the local environment Coca Cola wanted to restore a degraded stretch of river near it bottling plant in south east London.
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Sector: Farming and Food
In eastern England, the irrigated agri-business sector supports some 50,000 rural livelihoods and contributes over £3bn annually to the region’s economy.
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Sector: Farming and Food
For many water quality problems, the impacts can be seen at specific points in rivers or lakes. However, if a problem results from diffuse (non-point) pollution, particularly from agricultural sources, then we need to determine where in the landscape the issue is coming from so that mitigation works can be targeted.
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Sector: Farming and Food
Pickering, in North Yorkshire, has a long history of flooding. More recently, floods occurred in 1999, 2000, 2002, and most notably, in 2007, when 85 properties were flooded, causing an estimated £7 million of damage.
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Sector: Farming and Food
Woodlands are increasingly recognised as playing an important role in helping to meet the objectives of the Water Framework Directive, through reducing diffuse pollution from rural and urban sources and restoring the condition of riparian and aquatic habitats. Woodlands can also play an important role in ‘slowing the flow’, helping to reduce downstream flood risk.
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