At this year’s National Ploughing Championships Irish Water will launch an information leaflet for farmers on how to conserve and protect water on their farms.

As major customers of Irish Water, farming families are heavy water users so being able to conserve water is essential to save money. Among the recommendations from Irish Water are outlining the benefits of checking private pipework and water meters; how to spot leaks; and how to deal effectively with leaks if you find them. Dripping taps and hosepipes also impact heavily on water usage and automatic shut-offs can often prove to be very effective. There is also some good advice on rainwater harvesting and effective irrigation.

Launch of the Water Conservation and Projection Advisory Leaflet
Launch of the “Water Conservation and Projection Advisory Leaflet” at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore are Nicholas Lonergan, dry stock farmer from Oola, Co. Limerick and Aoife Kyne from Irish Water.

While water conservation is vital for farmers to reduce bills, water protection is also essential for the effective running of the farm. The Irish Water leaflet for farmers has some good advice on how to avoid contamination and pollution. Reducing or eliminating livestock access to surface waters helps to avoid contamination and damage to the water environment caused by pollution matter containing animal faeces, nutrients and soil. Destroyed bankside vegetation can also contribute to flooding. The risk of Cryptosporidium, contamination of water is very high when animals have direct access to water, particularly sheep and cattle when lambing or calving. Cryptosporidium a can cause severe diarrhoea in humans and animals. There is also advice on avoiding soiled water runoffs to surface water which can cause contamination.

Speaking at the launch of the leaflet Mark Macaulay, Water Supply Strategy Lead at Irish Water said “Irish Water is delighted to be at the National Ploughing Championships as it gives us the opportunity to meet so many farming families. While some farmers have their own water sources, many are customers of Irish Water and we are pleased to be able to provide practical advice and information on water conservation and protection that can be used by all. Many of recommendations are common sense that many farm families will already be implementing but often with the pressure of every day farming it is easy to overlook some practical measures that can make all the difference, saving money and protecting crops, livestock and communities.”

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