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CAP reform: a future for farming and water

Water UK has published its view of CAP reform, and how the regime could be used and adapted to promote better water quality.

  • Sources of public water supply are adversely affected by agriculture, particularly in terms of high levels of nitrate and pesticides in the water.
  • Water companies have to ensure that the water they supply to customers complies with the drinking water standards. To do this they have traditionally built treatment plants to remove the pollution from the water. These plants are expensive to build and operate, both in cash and carbon terms.
  • The water industry is trying to take a 
new approach, a catchment approach. The industry is involved in more than 100 schemes which aim to work with farmers and the environment to provide improved water quality. Many of these schemes have produced a plethora of other environmental benefits - for example, reduced flood risk, better soil quality, more sustainable agriculture and improved understanding of pollution risks.