D-Risk and the Rainwater Harvesting tool are intuitive and free tools designed to help British farming and horticultural enterprises and catchment water managers rapidly understand their local drought and abstraction risks and thereby support more robust decision-making regarding future irrigation investment and management.
Water resources for irrigated agriculture and horticulture are under intense pressure. Increasing competition and rising demands for water between sectors and real concerns regarding the impacts of reforms on water regulation and abstraction licensing mean that irrigation production has been identified as a key business sector 'at risk'.
Irrigated enterprises that are dependent on direct abstraction or mains water need to evaluate whether their existing business models for balancing available water supplies to their planting and growing programmes are resilient to future water shocks, due for example, to reductions in licensed water allocations and/or headroom or interruptions to supply. Climate uncertainty and future drought risk will further exacerbate the current situation.
Growers are well attuned to managing climate and crop production risks, but what information do they need to improve their decisions regarding abstraction management, water storage and drought risk?
With funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the Higher Education Innovation Fund and industry support from key farming and horticultural businesses and organisations, consultants and government agency representatives, we have developed two free, intuitive and user-friendly tools to provide you with information to help make informed decisions regarding future irrigation investment. . D-Risk is a simple webtool specifically designed to help you quickly understand complex abstraction and drought-related risks. The Excel-based Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) tool can help you to understand the potential benefits of rainwater harvesting and storage for polytunnels and glasshouses.