CLA welcomes water industry reform

17 October 2013

The CLA has welcomed proposals that will offer businesses more choice in the water market as set out in the draft Water Bill published today (10 July).

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "All rural businesses including farmers and land managers would like to see a more competitive water industry.

"More choice and flexibility in the water sector would result in businesses getting a better service as well as reducing costs. These proposals could lead to new business opportunities for agriculture and land managers to work closely with the water industry. For example, the development of innovative partnerships between land managers and sewage treatment operators could provide sewage treatment for rural areas using environmentally friendly options such as reedbeds."

Mr Cotterell added: "We are reassured by the Government's commitment to stick to a longer lead-in time to reform water abstraction rules. It is vital we have a well-constructed framework that ensures a fair allocation of water for farmers and land managers so they can meet the future challenges of food production and land management."

Mr Cotterell said the CLA would be looking closely at proposals in the draft Bill to bring water abstraction and impounding licensing, flood defence consents and fish pass approvals under the Environmental Permitting Regulations.

He explained: "Environmental permits have not yet reduced the red tape around environmental regulation for most farmers and land managers. In fact, they have done the opposite and are now costing smaller businesses even more than before."

 

Read the draft Water Bill