New Water Inspection Charges To Hit Small Farmers The Most?
Smaller dairy farms could be seriously affected by new changes to water inspection charges, far more so than bigger organisations, with some who make use of private supplies potentially being asked to pay more than is affordable.
According to the Dorset Echo, charges could be pushed up by between 50 and over 350 per cent because of these new fees. There are over 600 private water supplies across the Dorset Councils partnership region – 59 in North Dorset, one in Weymouth and Portland, and 547 in West Dorset.
A policy of charging for the inspection service (now in full force) was agreed upon in response to new regulations being introduced to protect public health. More frequent testing will now be seen, while a commonly agreed standard will have to be met.
At a meeting in Dorchester among West Dorset district councillors, Tim Yarker did agree that it was a cause for concern and charges would be pushed through if the water was used for jobs that could have an impact on the food chain, unless farmers succeeded in segregating their water usage.
But council leader Tony Alford suggested that, while it may be concerning for some, for the majority it would not be an issue, adding: “I am sure most farmers are pretty sensible people and will organise their affairs in a way which works for them.”
Reviewing water usage overall could prove beneficial for those in the farming industry, however. Recent research from Dr David Campbell of Heriot-Watt University found that out of 27 liquid milk producers, there were only three considered to use water excellently, with seven using it poorly.
Each year, around 40.9 billion litres of water are used to produce 14 billion litres of milk – so it seems that there is definitely room for improvement where water usage in this particular industry is concerned.
Focusing on commercial water conservation could be an excellent New Year’s Resolution for farmers and others in water-intensive industries.
This could perhaps include water storage so farmers are able to accumulate water in off-peak periods, ready to be used in times of high demand.
But this could also mean fixing leaks and dripping taps to prevent wastage, paying more attention when filling tanks or tubs so that hoses aren’t left on accidentally, manually cleaning down the alleys and floors before washing, using buckets and sinks to wash smaller pieces of equipment instead of using running water and so on.
It’s also worth remembering that saving water will also save your business money in the long run. Taking certain steps can actually help you achieve savings of more than 30 per cent of your current water bill, so it’s definitely worth looking into. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us here at H2O Building Services today.