The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry is proposing legislative changes that will encourage farmers to use their own water sources for irrigation. This was stated by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Desislava Taneva during a meeting of the Advisory Council on Fruit Growing and Vegetable Production, which was held via video conference. The proposal was sent by the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry to the Ministry of Environment and Water regarding the prepared amendments to the Water Act. It aims to encourage farmers to make optimal and full use of other irrigation sources beyond the existing ones. It provides for the simplification of administrative procedures and the expansion of the groundwater and surface water use for irrigation and other agricultural needs.
The document proposes an increase in the volume of irrigation water, for which a notification regime will be applied instead of a permit regime. The range of persons for whom this regime is valid will also be expanded. Currently, only individuals, who are owners or users of real estate within the settlements, have the right to free water abstraction. The proposal enables registered farmers to have the right to free water abstraction of up to 50 cubic meters per day for agricultural purposes. The proposed quantities are in line with the average norms for irrigation of field crops, perennials and essential oilseeds crops. The fee exemption will enable farmers to invest in the modernization and construction of water intake and irrigation facilities.