Housing and Local Government Minister, Simon Coveney has published the draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021. A public consultation on the draft plan will run until 31st August. The plan will then be finalised by the end of 2017 and then submitted to the European Commission. The Water Framework Directive was adopted in October 2000, and requires all EU Member States to develop strategies to improve water quality standards based on river basin plans.
Of note, the draft plan highlights the national dairy sustainability initiative to establish dairy co-op led pilot knowledge transfer programmes on nutrient management and farm point source pollution management.
In conjunction with the public consultation of the draft RBMP, submissions are also being sought on the review of Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme. The deadline is 28th April for the consultation on the Nitrates Directive. ICOS will be preparing submissions for both the draft RBMP and Nitrates Directive over the coming weeks.
Speaking at the Stakeholder Forum on Water hosted by the Department of Agriculture on 2nd March, Aidan O’Driscoll said that global sustainability challenges are being termed within the context of “water, food and fuel security”. While in Ireland we are fortunate to have little water stress compared to other regions, we do have a direct responsibility to ensure the quality of our water resources added O’Driscoll.
Ireland’s derogation to the Nitrates Directive is under review, with other EU countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands finding the renewal process challenging.
By Eamonn Farrell
Agri-Food Policy Executive
13 Mar 2017