Water in Agriculture
On Tuesday 11 November 2014 the Agritech Water Cluster led a workshop with Martin Collison, on ‘Water in Agriculture: managing future water needs’ at the at the Innovation For Agriculture East Conference, Suffolk Showground.
The Conference attracted over 60 people, including farmers, NFU, Environment Agency, FWAG, CLA and many others.
The workshop opened with a couple of short presentations to set the scene and give some information to get people thinking:
- Professor Kevin Hiscock from the University of East Anglia welcomed people and introduced the Agritech Water Cluster: download Kevin’s talk here Kevin Hiscock-Agritech Water Cluster-11Nov2014 (opens pdf file).
- Martin Collison from Collison & Associates outlined some of the constraints on agricultural production: download Martin’s talk Martin Collison 11th November 2014 (opens pdf file).
- Peter Fitt from the University of East Anglia talked about how weather patterns have changed in the region over the past 10 years (data from the Met Office), with more extremes of wet and dry, hot and cold happening more often and also showed some predictions of how the region is expected to become warmer and drier over the next 50 years: download Peter’s talk here Peter Fitt Agritech Water Cluster workshop_11Nov (opens pdf file).
The workshop then tackled three main questions:
1. What are the main challenges with water in agriculture and how will these challenges change over time?
2. What would a 25 year plan to secure water for agriculture include?
3. What technologies may allow us to manage water in agriculture more effectively?
Many farmers in different circumstances expressed their views on these matters, including the current and future challenges they face and the barriers to technology adoption. Great discussions were held during the workshop, with different opinions voiced and how we will overcome future challenges.
As part of the development for our `25 year plan’ on water use in agriculture it is important to consider all industries and businesses that use water. This event proved how enthusiastic people are to engage with us. This workshop is aiding the development of our 25 year plan for water use in agriculture and set out key barriers and issues which need to be considered in such a document.
Read all about it below!