A new online tool that can help growers reduce the amount of water wastage on farm has been launched by the farming charity LEAF.
The Water Management Tool enables growers to map their water use, assess risks, improve efficiency and make significant savings on their water bills.
Split into seven sections, it looks at better distribution and monitoring, improved irrigation, more efficient washing systems, protecting water quality, recycling and reuse.
The tool is designed to encourage farmers to review their current practices in managing water as a resource. Many of the measures are simple, such as installing water meters or checking leaks.
Others are more complex, such as using the tool to measure business water footprint in terms of water used per tonne of finished product. It also allows farmers to measure their water footprint’s colour spectrum from rainwater stored in the soil as moisture (green), surface and groundwater (blue), and reused and recycled water (grey).
Caroline Drummond, chief executive of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming), said: “Intense weather periods, such as those we have seen of late, where it’s either too dry or too wet, keep hitting us, and these patterns are here to stay.
“Therefore, how farmers monitor the water they use, the source it comes from and how they can make better use of that water will be critical going forward.”
The tool, which is available free to LEAF members, is one of a number of management tools LEAF has developed to help farmers to farm more sustainably. For more information, visit www.leafuk.org.