Irrigation in UK

UK Irrigation Association - An independent organisation promoting the wise use of water for irrigation


UKIA Spring Conference 2020

Can agriculture get a fair share of our nation's water resources?

Or are we seeing the gradual decline of irrigated farming?

Orton Hall Hotel, Peterborough

Regulatory changes continue at pace for agricultural abstractors. Defra and the Environment Agency continue to seek ways to improve future water resources management for all but the questions we continue to ask are, given the profound expected changes — Can agriculture expect a fair share of the national resource? Or are we seeing the gradual demise of irrigated farming?

Water resources management is a national challenge and the Environment Agency plans to publish a new National Water Framework in early 2020: an integrated approach to managing our limited and scarce resources. How will the agricultural sector feature in this framework? We still do not have a strategy for irrigated agriculture - do we need one? Who will own the Framework? And how will the plans unfold in practice?

Priorities differ across the country and so local problems will require local solutions. In our water-scarce eastern and southern areas, catchment management trials are underway to see how best to locally manage water resources. How do we ensure that agricultural water requirements will be integral to decision-making and coordinated with the legal requirements of the new Water Framework. How do we avoid agriculture’s traditional role of playing catch-up’?

Come and engage with - leading figures from farming, the Environment Agency, Rivers Trust, Centre for Hydrology, Cranfield University to discuss national and local management options for future water management.

Droughts are never far away. This year our special guest is Professor Mike Muller from South Africa. He says that we should stop blaming climate change for our water problems and he describes those who dominate the water sector in South Africa as Lions and Hyenas. So who are our lions and who are the hyenas? Come along and find out.


Full programme, speakers and registration click here

Start date : Thursday 5th March 2020 : End date : Thursday 5th March 2020

Import into calendar

UKIA Irrigators' Handbook

Our new Irrigators' Handbook


Lots of practical information for all those involved in irrigation.  There are sections on UKIA and its work; working together in Water Abstractor Groups; topical articles on current irrigation issues such as licensing and managing drought; and a technical section including basic hydraulics, pipes and pumps, designing and managing irrigation systems, improving irrigation efficiency, water auditing, reservoirs, and irrigation agronomy of fruit and vegetables.

The Irrigators’ Handbook is published by the UK Irrigation Association. 2019  soft-back  120 pages.

FREE to membersClick here to download highlight

Not a member? Or order on line  price £25.00 +£3 p&p

Start date : Sunday 12th April 2020 : End date : Sunday 31st May 2020

Import into calendar

UK Irrigation Association (UKIA) is the only independent organisation representing irrigation in the UK. We are a voice for irrigation in the debate over the future of UK's water resources; we advocate the wise use of water in agriculture, in amenity and in sports and leisure; and we promote good irrigation design and management practices.

Using water wisely for irrigation

Irrigated agriculture is important in the UK's rural economy. More than 1,000 agri-businesses, large and small, depend on irrigation to supply high quality fresh fruit and vegetables to the nation's supermarkets - arguably one of the most sophisticated markets in the world. Irrigated agriculture employs over 50,000 people and annually contributes over £3bn to the rural economy.

Irrigation is also important in the urban environment - keeping sports turf in peak condition for play and providing high quality amenity and leisure facilities.

But today, irrigation faces new challenges - new regulations, increasing risks of droughts and floods, climate change, public pressures for greater accountability and environmental sustainability. UKIA helps members to meet these challenges.


Members include farmers and growers (over 50%), consultants, researchers, suppliers, manufacturers, and government professionals.

Individual membership is only £40 annually, more for group membership. Read more...

Register for our free email news about meetings, field visits, and conferences. Read more...

Products and services

We provide information on consultants, contractors, and suppliers of products and services in the irrigation industry. Would you like your company listed? Read more...


We have a library of downloadable booklets, datasheets, journal papers, and conference presentations - see Resources.

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Membership - join or renew

Join the UKIA or renew your membership on-line

Annual membership fee £50 + £2 service charge on card payments.

UKIA Irrigators’ Handbook

Lots of practical information for all those involved in irrigation. Sections on UKIA and its work; working together in Water Abstractor Groups; topical articles on current irrigation issues and a technical section on pumps, pipes, systems, management and agronomy.

Publisher UKIA 2019. soft-back 120 pages. Download leaflet

Issued FREE to members

Not a member?

Order on-line £25.00 +£3 p&p


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Travel grants

Available for high calibre post graduates to extend their international experience. Awarded annually and managed through the Jack Wright Memorial Trust. Read more...