7. Farming 4 Clean Water Scheme
Theme: Water quality
- Reduce soil and sediment input
- Reduce chemical pollution
- Provide advice for riparian landowners
Affinity Water is working with the farming community to find catchment-based solutions to protect drinking water supplies and water quality.
The Farming 4 Clean Water scheme currently offers Metaldehyde-Free Payment for Ecosystem Services payments linked to water quality at drinking water abstractions to drive collective change in practice away from the use of metaldehyde slug pellets. This has successfully protected drinking water supplies for two consecutive autumn/winter periods and will remain until the outdoor use ban of metaldehyde comes into force in March 2022.
Affinity Water are also working with the local Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer and a supporting consultant to encourage the uptake of countryside stewardship options to reduce runoff from fields, promote biodiversity, improve soil structure and support capital items grants to improve infrastructure to protect water courses.
Best practice and the sustainable use of pesticides is also promoted by funding new technologies such as smart, on-farm weather stations and weather forecasting services to help plan applications and to further protect water quality, farmers are also offered free pesticide sprayer calibrations as part of the scheme.
The Farming 4 Clean Water scheme will continue to develop catchment-based solutions to promote the sustainable use of pesticides, mitigate soil and sediment loss and help improve soil health in these catchments.