Water for Tomorrow is a new cross-border water initiative for five regional water catchments areas in England and France. It focuses on three catchments in the England and two in France, all of which have predictions of severe water deficits in the very near future.
The Water for Tomorrow Project aim is to develop and test innovative water management tools and decision-making support systems that help manage our ground and surface water, which will enable more responsive short-term management of drought events, and better long-term planning, as well as investment in water management at a local scale.
The East Suffolk Priority Catchment has been selected as one of the three participatory priority catchments.
East Suffolk is dominated by agriculture and characterised by low rainfall. The soil along the east coast is light and free-draining, ideal for growing root vegetables. But these crops are reliant on irrigation and demand for water is outstripping supply. Flows are being reduced by abstraction to levels that may not support species and habitats in almost 40% of our water bodies. The volume of water abstracted from aquifers and water bodies must be reduced substantially to return abstraction to sustainable levels. There are 97 protected areas within the catchment, many of which are water dependent.
The Essex and Suffolk River Trust, in partnership with the East Suffolk Water Abstractors Group, Sustainable Water Solutions, the East Suffolk Catchment Partnership members and Water for Tomorrow Project will be running a series of local workshops in early 2022 to highlight the desperate needs for all water users to engage with this process; to understand the current and future water positions within the catchment, and to widen sector-understanding and gather local inputs to help steer a catchment-scale approach to improving water management and water saving across our region.
Those involved with Water for Tomorrow include Government departments (e.g. Defra), Environment Agency, water utilities, drainage boards, Highways, energy companies, conservation organisations, retailers, food and farming businesses, NFU and other agriculture and land management organisations, communities, general public (water users), citizen scientists and volunteers.