Drone patrols to search for illegal abstractions

Drones will be deployed for the first time this summer to gather information on farmers who flout the conditions of their abstraction licences, the Environment Agency has announced.

In a statement, the agency said that last summer’s heatwave led to a number of licence holders breaching their conditions. This year, some illegal abstractions have already been uncovered, the agency added.

It said that a drone, operated by a “third party”, will be deployed in East Anglia’s fenland areas.

Images from the drone will connect to a web portal so that an Environment Agency staff member can view the images from a computer and direct the device to fly over certain locations, the statement said.

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