D-Risk is an intuitive and free online webtool designed to help farming enterprises and catchment water managers rapidly understand their local drought and abstraction risks and thereby support robust decisions regarding future irrigation investment and management.

Water resources for irrigated agriculture and horticulture are under intense pressure. Increasing competition and rising demands for water between sectors and real concerns regarding the impacts of reforms on water regulation and abstraction licensing mean that irrigation production has been identified as a key business sector ‘at risk’.

Irrigated farming enterprises dependent on direct abstraction need to evaluate whether their existing business models for aligning water resources to planting programmes are resilient to future water shocks, due for example, to reductions in licensed water allocations and/or headroom. Climate uncertainty and future drought risk will further exacerbate the current situation.

Whilst farmers are well attuned to managing climate and crop production risks, what information do they need to improve their decisions with regard to abstraction management and drought risk?

With funding from the UK Natural Environment Research Council and industry support from key farming businesses and organisations, consultants and government agency representatives, we have developed D-Risk - a simple, free, user friendly webtool specifically designed to help you quickly understand these complex abstraction and drought related risks and to provide you with information to help make informed decisions regarding future irrigation investment and management.

Yes, we could have a reservoir. It is effectively a very very expensive insurance policy. So you have to ask yourself, is it worth doing? What is the risk? You are assessing the risk of using it against the cost of having something sitting there. This is the question we ask ourselves every day