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A Framework of Measures and Best Practice Guidance for High Status Objective Water Bodies was published by the Waters of LIFE Project today.

The report comprises a comprehensive set of measures to address pressures on water quality from a range of sectors considered to be impacting on these types of rivers, which are often located in remote, rural parts of the country. A series of sector specific annexes for agriculture, forestry, peat extraction, quarrying and domestic wastewater treatment systems was also published today, listing the measures available to deal with pressures from that sector and ranking them by effectiveness.

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD said:

“High status water bodies are a precious resource and it is imperative that we not only halt, but reverse their decline. Today’s report highlights new and valuable insights into our highest status waters, and we hope to see this knowledge put to good use, not just through the Waters of LIFE project but by farm advisors, landowners and all of the stakeholders working to improve water quality. The Results Based Payments Scheme offered as part of this project will support and reward efforts made by landowners including farmers and foresters to improve water quality in these five catchments. We’ve seen the success of this model in other LIFE projects such as Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE IP which granted in excess of €2.4 million in payments in 2022.  I encourage eligible groups in the areas around those catchments to get involved in the project.”

It is hoped that this report and its set of ranked measures for each sector will prove to be a valuable resource for farm advisors, land owners and practitioners and will help to ensure that measures taken to improve water quality are appropriate to the specific setting (the principle of the right measure in the right place) to be as  effective as possible.

Further information is available at this Link

The Framework Documents are available at the following links:

Framework Document

Annex 1: Agricultural Activities

Annex 2: Forestry

Annex 3: Peat Extraction

Annex 4: Quarries

Annex 5: Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems

Photo – Confluence of Glendasan and Avonmore Rivers Downstream of Ballard Bridge, Laragh, Co. Wicklow – Anna Rymszewicz / Steve Davis (LAWPRO)