by Philip Meade of Davis Meade Property Consultants
INCReaSING population and rising temperatures are putting pressure on natural resources and farmers and landowners will face additional challenges in the years ahead to protect precious assets such as water, the life blood of the industry.
While Brexit is occupying our mind at the moment, water and soil management will be the big challenges ahead, whether we are in or out of the eU.
Late last year RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) held a conference on Water and called on government, industry and business to collaboratively approach the challenges of flooding and the management of water supplies to reduce flooding and future-proof water supplies.
Located mainly in rural areas, RICS recommends possible flood prevention methods including:
• tree planting in uplands to act as a buffer and slow down the flow of water
• managing and storing water through the creation of ponds and ditches
• increasing soil infiltration, through planting spongey bog moss.
Farmers have a vital role to play to help prevent flooding and water loss and Martin Mcauley, RICS Policy Manager, highlighted the need for the UK to manage water close to the point of source and not try and stop it when it’s too late.
He said landowners can help divert and slow floodwater and help build future resources but need support to do so. the role that land managers can play in the prevention and mitigation of serious flooding incidents should be highlighted as part of the shift to a new regime of farm payment schemes and increased focus on public goods.
the implications of increasing environment responsibility will affect land values in the future. Increasingly, when valuing land albeit for purchase, occupation or letting, we as chartered surveyors will have to take into consideration environmental risks.
Water, for example, can be an asset and a liability. Values might increase if there is water on a property than can be used for livestock or irrigation but also decrease if there is an increased risk of flooding, particularly with global warming making things likely to get worse rather than better.
But there are opportunities too for farmers and land managers in terms of potentially being paid for hosting flood defence mechanisms on their land to divert a problem from a town or city.
Without the management of water now, the UK could see the supply of water failing to keep up with growing demand, impacting daily life and social problems, including the housing crisis.
For more information contact Philip Meade at DMPC, Oswestry on 01691 659658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org