News | BAWAG | Broadland Agricultural Water Abstractors Group

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Water abstraction lie costs farm business £5,500.See the full article in the Abstraction Reform section on the left.
Entry added: 22 Jul 2017
There is a lot of interesting information available in the latest BAWAG newsletter available to download from the Newsletters section on the left!
Entry added: 26 Mar 2017
Please check out two recent reports done by Cranfield for Anglia Water and WRE (Water Resources East) in the UKIA Information tab on the left. One is on quantifying baseline demand, and the other summary notes from a workshop we held in Feb looking forward and trying to identify drivers of change and impacts of socio econ change on agriculture in anglian region - there's some interesting info in this report.
Entry added: 16 Mar 2017
Please check which water body your abstraction comes out of by going onto the Environment Agency's website and looking for "what's in my backyard" or copy the link below:
Entry added: 09 Dec 2016
The latest newsletter is available in the section on the left!
Entry added: 08 Dec 2016
Timetable for Catfield Fen Appeal

Tuesday 19th April 10.00am 5pm Hydrology Opening statements,Barentdegt
Wednesday 20th April 9.30am 5pm Hydrology Grout, Carey, Lewis
Thursday 21st April Site Visit
Friday 22nd April 9.00 am 5pm Hydrology Gilvear, Bradley,Dodds
Tuesday 26th April 9.00 am 5pm Public Patel, Davis, Starling
Wednesday 27th April 9.00 am 5pm Water quality Dodds
Thursday 28th April 9.00 am 5pm Water quality Mason
Friday 29th April 9.00 am 5pm Ecology Fojt
Tuesday 3rd May 1pm 5pm Ecology Painter
Wednesday 4th May 9.00am 5pm IROPI Collison
Thursday 5th May 9.00am 5pm Harris, Alston
Friday 6th May 9.00am 5pm Closing statements
Entry added: 22 Apr 2016
The latest Newsletter has been uploaded on the Newsletter section there is a lot of useful and important information in it so please take the time to read it thoroughly.
Entry added: 15 Apr 2016
The AGM was held today at Honingham Thorpe with two excellent Speakers Jenny Bashford form AHDB Potatoes and Paul Hammett from the NFU a full report will be posted later. Please could members update their licence information using the form available in the Newsletters page and there is lots of other useful information there as well!
Entry added: 16 Feb 2016
In 2009 the UK and Welsh Governments consulted on implementing measures contained in the Water Act 2003 to end exemptions for significant abstractions. While responses were largely supportive they also highlighted some complex issues which we have since worked to address. Defra are now consulting jointly with the Welsh Government, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales on our revised approach to bring most exempt water abstractions into the licensing system ('new authorisations').
Ending most exemptions will enable the Regulators to better manage water resources and help to balance the needs of all abstractors and the environment.
The consultation document and the online survey to respond are available at:
The consultation runs for 12 weeks from 15 January 2016 to 8 April 2016.
We welcome your views and comments on the proposals. Both existing licensed abstractors and exempt abstractors will be interested and we also encourage you to share this consultation widely. Part I of the consultation document includes our response to the 2009 consultation and Part II of the document seeks views on the remaining questions.
If you have any queries about the new authorisations consultation please contact us at: Or for queries relating specifically to Wales please contact us at:
Entry added: 25 Jan 2016
The Environment Agency announced that it is minded to refuse two water abstraction license applications that are threatening rare wildlife found on two sites of European significance found in the Norfolk Broads.

Butterfly Conservation‘s Catfield Fen nature reserve and the RSPB’s Sutton Fen nature reserve are nationally recognised for their special wildlife. The sites are found within the Ant Broads and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest and form part of The Broads Special Area of Conservation.

The applicant has applied to abstract up to 68 million litres per year from a borehole close to Catfield Fen, and up to 22 million litres from a second borehole located between Catfield and Sutton Fen.

Catfield Fen is exceptionally rich in wildlife, and is the most important UK site for water beetles and wetland plants. The site is a stronghold for UK species such as one-grooved diving beetle Bidessus unistriatus, and the rare fen orchid Liparis loeselii, that have now disappeared from the majority of the UK.

Together, Catfield and Sutton Fen support over 90 per cent of UK fen orchid populations, and are home to large populations of swallowtail butterflies, water voles and Norfolk hawker dragonflies. The sites are also used by rare UK species including cranes, bitterns, marsh harriers and otters.

Water has been abstracted adjacent to Catfield since 1986 to irrigate arable crops and recent evidence indicates that the site has become more acidic, and drier, and this is threatening some of the country’s rarest species.

Phil Pearson, RSPB Senior Conservation Officer, said: “We are delighted that the Environment Agency has taken action to protect crucial wildlife habitats and wholeheartedly support their decision”

“Catfield Fen and Sutton Fen are considered by conservationists to be the ‘best of the best’ within one of Europe’s most important wetland sites.

“The UK’s wetland environments have undergone a dramatic decline in the last 100 years, which is having a devastating effect on the wildlife that relies on this habitat (note 3). It is unacceptable to allow the condition of wetland sites of this quality to continue to deteriorate and risk the loss of even more species, some of which are only found at these two sites in the whole of the UK.”

Phil added: “Nationally and internationally renowned ecological and hydrological experts have expressed concern that the changes in site condition are likely to be due to water abstraction. The Environment Agency’s decision illustrates their commitment to protecting the natural environment from deterioration and damage caused by taking water from the environment.

“We are not advocating no agriculture within the Catfield Fen area. However, we are advocating the need for water to be managed responsibly. These sites are the last refuge for some of our most threatened species, and whilst this decision is a fantastic outcome, it is by no means the last challenge faced by these precious sites.

“The RSPB will continue to fight to ensure the right decisions are made to protect these sites for the future. We are committed to working with individuals and organisations in the area to balance the needs of agriculture, water companies, councils and local residents, whilst protecting nationally important wildlife.

“We would urge people to encourage the Environment Agency to continue to support important sites such as Catfield and Sutton Fens by voicing their support for the Environment Agency’s decision.”

The Environment Agency has launched its ‘minded to’ public consultation. From now until 15th December you can read about why the Agency is minded to refuse the renewal of the abstraction licences and can submit any related comments or new evidence that may have come to light. You can comment on how the Environment Agency has made this draft decision and whether there is anything that has not been included that may be important in making the decision.

You have until midnight on Monday 15th December to provide any relevant comments to the Environment Agency via email to or by post to National Permitting Service – Water Resources, Iceni House, Cobham Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 9JD. After 15th December the Environment Agency says it will consider any relevant comments received and make its final decision.
Entry added: 16 May 2015
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