THE construction of reservoirs on farms and estates to conserve water is one way landowners and farmers could help the country meet the challenge of climate change, according to a report just published.

With a hotter and drier climate predicted there needs to be action to protect water supplies and ensure UK farming land produces sufficient food and fuel for Britain as world food markets become more volatile with changes in the world's climate.

The Association of British Insurers' manifesto on adapting to climate change has been welcomed by the National Farmers' Union, but its vice president, Paul Temple, warns that farmers and landowners will need financial assistance.

He said: "Adaptation is the key to dealing with the challenges of climate change and adapting to changes in water resources, with increases in floods and droughts, must be one of the main priorities. The manifesto highlights the need for energy security and farmers and growers can be part of the solution to this by generating renewable power.

"However, it is also important that we focus on ensuring food security and protecting the land that can provide us with the food and fuel we need as world food markets become more volatile.

"Helping the agricultural and horticulture sectors adapt to climate change will also need investment.

"With financial assistance, more farmers would be able to construct reservoirs to enable a shift from summer to winter abstraction of water, which would allow greater quantities of water to be available for use during the summer months, predicted to be hotter and drier."