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Water Screening Study

Applications open 22nd April 2024 and closes 16th June 2024.


Climate change affects the amount and timing of water availability, as well as demand. DEFRA want to support farmers and growers to plan for and secure a more resilient water supply.


Small groups of farmers in England can apply for a Local Resource Option (LRO) screening study. An LRO is a water resources scheme that improves the resilience or supply of water in a local area.


The Environment Agency has developed a methodology to identify what types of LRO could be possible in a given area and what scale of development and investment would be required to improve resilience.


Water resources consultants will work with you to identify, screen, and rank local water resource options.


Examples of types of Local Resource Option (LRO):


  • farm storage reservoirs (new, resizing and/or change to multi-season operation)

  • water rights trading

  • improve connectivity of existing sources

  • treated effluent/wastewater reuse

  • managed aquifer recharge

  • rainwater harvesting

The studies can be applied in areas across England. These studies will provide location-specific, tailored results wherever it is applied.

The screening study will look at potential water resources options for your group of farmers to improve your water resource resilience.


It will screen and rank the water resources options based on:


  • hydrology

  • cost

  • yield

  • suitability for required water use


Who can apply


You can apply for a screening study if you:


  • are a group of 2 or more neighbouring farms

  • manage or operate arable, horticultural, aquaculture or livestock farms, including ornamentals or forestry nurseries

  • currently abstract, or would like to abstract, water for irrigation or livestock husbandry located in England (you cannot apply with joint businesses or partnerships in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales)


The farmers in your group must either:


  • own the land

  • have a tenancy agreement with the landowner


One person in the group should take the lead and fill out the application form.

If you need further details or would like help with an application, please contact Kathryn Williams on:

Mobile - 07971 583638

E-mail -

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