Land Law Finance - Issue 14 - Autumn 2019

Issue 14 L and L a w F inance 11 conditions as daytime temperatures consistently reached 30C. Recent climate change predictions from the Met Office predict that by 2070 summer temperatures could be up to 5.4C hotter and summer rainfall could decrease by as much as 47%. The chances of a summer as warm as 2018 could rise to around 50% by 2050. Against this backdrop, Strutt & Parker says that farms will want to do all they can to protect their rights to abstract water and avoid falling foul of a series of changes to the regime that have been introduced since 2014. Zoe Brooks of Strutt & Parker, said: “The right to abstract water is a valuable business asset and farmers will want to take steps to ensure they protect their current and future needs.” For example, she said the two-year deadline for people to convert previously exempt activities into new authorisations is at the end of 2019. “Previously exempt activities which now require a licence include trickle irrigation and according to a recent Defra report many abstractors are yet to submit an application. “If an application for a new authorisation is not made by 31 December and validated in time, then the right to abstract will be automatically lost and the abstractor will be liable for enforcement action,” she said. 'Greater flexibility for growers' Meanwhile, growers with existing licences may want to investigate whether there is an opportunity to utilise the full summer extraction period, which runs from 1 April – 30 Oct. Ms Brooks said: “Some licensees may have licences which run from April- September or June -October and may not be aware that they can apply to the Environment Agency to change these dates. “While there are no guarantees permission will be granted, and it will not mean a change in the amount they can abstract, it can offer growers greater flexibility.” Another key issue is where the holder of an abstraction licence is not using their full licenced quantity and are in an area which the