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Environment Secretary and crops ‘stressed’ as Defra announces drought in parts of UK

13 June 2011

With the second driest spring across England and Wales since 1910, Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, is urging households and farmers to be conservative with their water consumption.

Farmers are finding their crops are more stressed as they fail to grow and in response some have volunteered to only irrigate at night to reduce evaporation and co-operatives have formed to share the limited amounts of water available.

If the situation worsens, Caroline Spelman or Welsh Ministers could, on application from the Environment Agency and /or water companies, grant a Drought Order to permit the abstraction of water from rivers and lakes in a bid to conserve supplies and manage demand and allow for restrictions to be placed on the use of water for up to 6 months.

Whilst we enjoy the balmy spring weather, farmers and growers are finding that this uncharacteristic warm spell is having a marked negative impact on their crop yields and therefore on their livelihoods.

Perhaps, in a bid to avoid Drought Orders, to de-stress the farmers, their crops and Ms Spelman, it’s time to pray for rain once more?

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Richard Barlow

Richard Barlow

Partner and Head of Government Sector

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