Water is a finite resource and deciding how it is allocated is naturally contentious especially for farmers and food processors where it is a vital resource. There is an urgent need for improved methods of prediction and monitoring to increase the precision and efficiency of water usage. Inder Poonaji, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé UK & Ireland, which has processing facilities in the region, will be a keynote speaker at a workshop which is aimed at generating innovative responses.
‘Producing, Processing and Packaging: Managing future water needs’ is hosted by Agri-Tech East’s ‘Water for Agriculture‘ Special Interest Group, in partnership with the Agritech Water Cluster (based at the University of East Anglia) and Anglian Water.
Andy Brown, Head of Sustainability at Anglian Water comments: “With growth in the region and a changing climate we know that there will be increasing pressure on water in the future.
“That is why we want to bring sectors together now to discuss the different roles we can all play in successfully meeting this challenge. It is a familiar challenge of trying to do more with less; trying to do it efficiently and trying to be as sustainable as we can be.
“The event will give us the opportunity to discuss the common risks and challenges together, exchange experience and knowledge but also to explore common solutions for predicting demand, using water efficiently and planning future resources.”
Also speaking will be Professor Tim Osborn, UEA, about how changes in weather and climate change will impact water availability in the Anglian region, Professor Kevin Hiscock, UEA about current projects with farmers, and Martin Collison, Collison and Associates Ltd and agri-food sector lead for Greater Lincolnshire LEP, about the need for long term water resource planning.
Jamie Lockhart, farmer and incoming chairman of the Broadland Agricultural Water Abstractors Group (BAWAG), will be attending the workshop. He says that farmers should take a lead in improving efficiency and influencing policy.
He says: “I'm hoping to meet some innovative companies who can bring some fresh ideas on how to manage and monitor water usage and also to get some like-minded farmers in a room to put a new spin on things.”
More information about ‘Producing, Processing and Packaging: Managing future water needs’ is available here.
The event is to be held 09.00 - 14.00, Monday 9 March 2015, at The Boathouse Business Centre , 1 Harbour Square, Nene Parade, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 3BH.