Case studies

D-Risk has been co-developed and tested with a number of agribusinesses and abstractor groups who are concerned about their vulnerability to drought, and their capacity to cope with possible future reduced water availability. Each of the case studies below represents a different approach to drought risk regarding business objectives, drought vulnerability, preparedness and scope for water sharing. Click on each case study for more information.

Lark Abstractors Group

Lark Abstractors Group (LAG) is an organisation that are actively engaged in initiatives to identify the potential for greater collaboration between farm businesses dependent on surface water abstraction for high-value irrigated production. Their overall objective is to improve future drought resilience and help protect environmental flows in the River Lark.

LF Papworth Ltd

The LF Papworth has nearly 47 ha of irrigated crops (maincrop and early potatoes) reliant on a single direct summer groundwater abstraction licence. The business would like to expand their irrigated area to increase wheat yields on their sandy soils. Their objective was to use D-Risk to assess the area of wheat that could be irrigated without compromising their ability to meet the irrigation need of their potatoes.

Frederick Hiam Ltd

Frederick Hiam Ltd has over 186 ha of irrigated crops (maincrop potatoes, onions and parsnips) on light Breckland soils at Tuddenham, with irrigation from a combination of summer groundwater (direct) and winter surface water (storage) licences. The business is concerned about increased climate uncertainty and frequency of droughts; and water supply reliability following abstraction licensing reform.

The Wisley Golf Club

The Wisley Golf Club is a private 27 hole golf club in Surrey with over 35 ha of irrigated fine turf relying on groundwater abstraction licences. They use irrigation to maintain optimum playability (bounce and ball speed) on the course and to support other turf management practices (top dressing and fertilization).

Euston Estate

The Euston Estate has over 500 ha of irrigated crops (mainly potatoes, onions, parsnips, carrots) reliant on irrigation from winter storage reservoirs. Business concerns regarded the future risk of droughts within a new regime of abstraction licensing; and the potential need for more storage.

W.O. & P.O. Jolly

W.O. & P.O. Jolly has nearly 250 ha of irrigated light Breckland (sandy) soils producing a mix of potatoes, onions, root crops (carrots, parsnips, sugar beet) and cereals with direct summer groundwater abstraction and no reservoir storage. Business concerns regard reductions in groundwater allocation and a lack of alternate water sources.

Risk averse in water means pulling back on production to be sure we have sufficient headroom to cope with the very worst of conditions. Commercially this is very difficult for us, we can’t afford it. So we have to accept a higher level of risk that we feel comfortable with
Rain gun
Now with the WFD we have a completely different scenario. We have the possibility that we will not have headroom in our licences, at all. So the risk to our business is completely different now than it was yesterday