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Farming for water quality - ASSAP

ASSAP – Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme

In Ireland all water policy and management is led by the Water Framework Directive. Under this directive Ireland has been set a target of achieving ‘good status’ for all waters in Ireland. However, despite a lot of good work over the last 20-30 years we are falling short in achieving this target and water quality has remained mainly static with no significant improvement being recorded.

As a result, the Government has decided to adopt a new strategy. This strategy involves a more collaborative approach to facilitate improvements in water quality. The EPA has identified 190 catchments or ‘areas for action’ across the country where the status of the water is at risk of regressing.

There are multiple pressures across the areas for action; industry, waste water treatment plants and septic tanks, forestry, agriculture and urban pressures. The ASSAP (Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme) will focus its resources on addressing agricultural pressures in these catchments.  

Further information available at local authorities water programme and catchments.ie or contact Eimear Connery, Teagasc, Midleton.