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New water management group

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

A key outcome of the Centre for Landscape Regeneration and FenlandSOIL at their Exploring the Future of Lowland Agricultural Peat Workshop, in Ely this April, was the need for a coordinated approach to water management for paludiculture now and in the future.

Water Resources East (WRE) have seized the initiative and a new multisector drought group has been set up to manage water resources. Despite heavy rainfall in March and April the risk of drought remains for the coming months, WRE has established a new regular forum to identify opportunities to share water between sectors and protect the environment. IDBs, abstractor groups and the NFU are key members of the group alongside water companies, the Environment Agency, the Canal & River Trust and representatives from the energy sector.

The group’s current focus centres on Cambridgeshire and East Anglia, but this could widen to Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire depending on where challenges emerge. The group is part of WRE’s independent role to promote cross-sector collaboration in managing the region’s scarce water resources.

The first meeting took place on 5th May and discussed the current availability of water from surface and groundwater sources and both public water supply and on-farm reservoirs. Despite the improved situation since a very dry February, the group recognised the urgency of further work now to explore new cross-sector opportunities to share water should they be needed.

IDBs will be central to the group going forward since they often facilitate the movement of water between areas and users. They will also provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise surrounding the management of water levels and implications for flood risk and drainage in the local area.

The group is set to meet monthly through to the summer and later into the year. To find out more, please email

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