Call for Proposals for an EIP on the theme of water quality.
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett has announced a Call for Proposals for an EIP on the theme of water quality.
Minister Hackett said:
“Improving water quality is a key part of our efforts to protect our natural environment. The scale of the programme, with funding of €60 million, is indicative of the Governments commitment to addressing water quality declines from farming activity. Given recent water quality trends, we need to take a co-ordinated response to address the pressure that agriculture can place on water quality. I am delighted therefore to be working closely with Minister Malcolm Noonan and his Department on this EIP. Our Departments have already worked well together on Ireland’s 5th Nitrates Action Programme, which came into effect earlier this year and contains a number of new and strengthened measures to protect and improve water quality. In addition, Ireland’s CAP Strategic Plan has an important role to play in reducing the losses of nutrients and other sediments from farmland to water by incentivising farmers to do more to improve water quality.”
Welcoming the launch, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D. said:
“This call for an EIP focusses on providing a voluntary incentive that will reward farmers who do more for water quality. I very much welcome the ongoing close working relationship between my Department and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to address issues relating to water quality. From farmers to policymakers, we are all committed to the continued improvement of water quality and water courses across the country. This new EIP will play a key role in driving further tangible improvements in water quality while rewarding farmers for their efforts.”
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Heritage at the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, T.D. said:
“This call is specifically focused on reducing losses of phosphorus, nitrogen, sediment and pesticides to water from agricultural lands by promoting the adoption of innovative best practice in nutrient management, the application of Nature based Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) and other suitable measures.” Minister of State Noonan further commented that: “the project’s focus on nature-based solutions can also be expected to deliver multiple benefits for water, biodiversity, flood attenuation and climate mitigation/adaptation. I’m pleased that my Department has contributed €10m to the EIP in support of these ambitions.”
The need for the Water EIP arose out of the experience of the second River Basin Management cycle. Both the Local Authority Waters Programme and the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme involving Teagasc, local authorities, the dairy industry and Government identified a gap in support for farmers implementing targeted water protection measures. The Environmental Protection Agency has also developed improved scientific tools for identifying environmental risks. These tools can help to guide the targeting of the right measures in the right place.
The European Innovation Partnership Agriculture (EIP-Agri) projects are locally led and harness innovative practices, to protect essential natural resources, such as water, on which farming, and the wider community depends.