Thursday, December 2, 2010

British agriculture faces water shortages

Evesham Journal (UK): Agricultural businesses could face damaging water shortages as a result of climate change and adaptation is needed to meet the impending challenge. That was the conclusion of a report commissioned by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) and carried out by scientists from the Walker Institute for Climate System Research and the School of Agriculture, both at the University of Reading.

The report, Water for Agriculture – Implications for Future Policy & Practice, makes it clear that higher temperatures and lower rainfall in summer are likely to reduce river flow and so reduce the amount of water available for agriculture. It also shows a clear risk from more frequent extremes of drought and flooding.

“This is a challenge for plant breeders, policy makers and planners as well as farmers,” said Ian Smith, agri-science director of RASE. “Plant breeders will need to incorporate drought resistance and waterlogging tolerance into new varieties, water policy will have to reflect the need to conserve and perhaps even redistribute water and planners must be flexible in allowing farms to build reservoirs so they can conserve winter rainfall for summer irrigation….

Street Farm Oast, Frittenden, Kent, Great Britain. Shot by Val Vannet, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

1 comment:

anti snore said...

I read your post,agriculture depends on whether and water.