Sarah Mukherjee, Director of Environment at Water UK, set out how EU policymakers can improve the the link between agriculture and water policy to protect both farmers and the environment.
Sarah explained that there are many projects already underway where farmers, water companies and environmental groups are working together to use the natural capital available to filter, cleanse and slow down water. She said that if agri-environmental measures funded by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) supported better air, water and soil quality, a lot of complexity could be removed for better outcomes. To support this, the various funding mechanisms and channels need to be as coherent and coordinated as possible, with a clear direction for farmers as to what outcomes they are required to aim for.
Sarah was speaking at a conference organised by the European Environmental Bureau, a federation of more than 140 environmental and community groups. She was speaking on behalf of EurEau, as a member of the EurEau Executive Committee.
Two speakers from the European Commission agreed that, while there were many measures for water in CAP agri-environment funding, guidance could be made clearer, with the support for water measures emphasised.