Controlling all water users
As water resources become more stretched to what extent should all water users be required to reduce their use equally?
Why the contribution is important
We proposed in our consultation that all abstractors who do not currently have controls linked to flows should have controls at very low flows. This was accepted by many although there were concerns about the level at which they would be set. This would apply across all sectors.
Currently about 20% of all abstractors have flow controls (known as hands off flows) on their licences. At present section 57 restrictions only apply to spray irrigators and have not been applied that often (see the supporting information for more information). So putting flow controls on all abstractors would be a significant change but maybe it is reasonable for all abstractors to make some effort to save water (e.g. managing with a 10% cut). Early action by all to save water could reduce the need later for more drastic cuts.
In the reformed abstraction management system trading in some catchments would allow abstractors who find cutting their water use difficult to access extra water.
by abstractionreform on September 05, 2014 at 10:53AM