Irish Water Biodiversity Officer celebrates World Environment Day

To celebrate World Environment Day on Saturday, June 5, Irish Water is launching its Biodiversity Action Plan – an ambitious strategy to protect and enhance biodiversity at Irish Water’s vast network of sites nationwide.

Roscommon native David Fallon now works as a Biodiversity Officer with Irish Water. His role involves working with site managers and treatment plant operators to help them carry out biodiversity enhancement measures on their sites. With more than 1,700 water and wastewater treatment sites around Ireland – many of them located in scenic and ecologically sensitive areas – it is a critically important role.

Speaking about the Plan, David explains, “Irish Water recognises the need to urgently increase and accelerate efforts to halt the decline of biodiversity. We are committed to ensuring that we build and manage our infrastructure responsibly so that our ecosystems are protected, and where possible enhanced. We have developed a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) to help us to conserve, enhance and work with the natural environment. This plan clearly outlines our high-level strategic aims and the actions we will be taking to achieve them.

All of our sites, projects and activities interact with the ecosystems in which they are located, and it is our responsibility to protect these healthy ecosystems that benefit us all. A thriving natural environment helps provide us with food, quality drinking water and clean air.

 “Growing up on a small farm in the west of Ireland I always had a strong interest in nature. As I grew older I observed the decline in natural habitats and bird species around me as agriculture intensified and this led me to seek ways to address these challenges,” he says.

David went on to study Forestry in the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Environmental Science in University of Ulster before going on to complete a research Masters in Institute of Technology Sligo on Peatland Rehabilitation. David is now proud to play his part in putting biodiversity on top of the agenda in Irish Water.

Irish Water has already begun its transition towards biodiversity protection and improvement across many of its sites in the north west of the country with grass land management and nest boxes already in place at Leacarrow Wastewater Treatment Plant in Roscommon and at Swinford Wastewater Treatment Plant in Mayo. Species including the Long-Tailed Tit, Otter, Pine Marten and the Bee Orchid have already been spotted in several Irish Water sites across the country where biodiversity enhance measures have been implemented.

David says that everyone can play their part to protect and enhance biodiversity. “Why not try to introduce biodiversity friendly mowing. Leaving the lawnmower in the shed for a little longer. Cutting less often allows wildflowers to grow and provides important food for our insects, especially pollinators.

To find out more about these and the other biodiversity actions being carried out by Irish Water, visit the Biodiversity section of our website.

David Fallon, Biodiversity Officer