Appeal to South-East UK growers as temperatures soar

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Water company asks for co-operation

GROWERS across south east England are being asked to reduce their water use for the next 10 days, as demand for water soars.

South East Water has seen the region’s daily water use jump from a summer average of 540 million litres up to 660 million litres this week.
The clean water supplier is urging farmers to reduce their overall water use, especially when demand for water peaks between 7.30 and 10 each morning and evening.

Simon Lohrey, Surface Water Manager, said: “As temperatures climb, so does demand for water. With the continued hot weather across the South East, combined with very little rainfall, demand for water is exceptionally high. That’s why we’re asking farmers to try and reduce their overall water use for the next 10 days and - where possible - avoid using water between 7.30 and 10 each morning and evening when demand across our network is highest.

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While recognising that growers and suppliers will need to irrigate crops and carry out essential cleaning, he appealed for all non-essential water use to be kept to a minimum until the temperature drops.

He recommended the following steps for saving water on-farm:
•    Checking any pipework, troughs or reservoirs for leaks
•    Delay irrigation, spraying and any non-urgent water use until the temperatures start to fall
•    Avoid washing your tractor or yard during this hot spell.

All year round, South East Water provides a range of free advice and funding to farmers in priority groundwater and river catchments, including water efficiency audits, grants for rainwater harvesting and farm infrastructure, and a range of other sustainable farming initiatives.

Simon continued: “While all our efforts right now are focused on maintaining water supplies across our network, our dedicated team of farm advisors can offer a range of help and advice."

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