Farming responsible for 53% of Water Pollution incidents

Posted in: United States Water News, Water Contamination, Water Health Effects, Water quality
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Photo Credit: AgriLand

Article courtesy of Author Richard Halleron | Date(June 22,2015) | AgriLand | Shared as educational material

Farming is believed to be the cause of pollution in 53% of impacted river sites assessed during the period 2010 to 2012, according to a new water quality consultation document.

Published by the Department of the Environment Community and Local Government (DOEHLG) it says that increased agricultural output will likely increase the pressures on waters.

Agricultural activities are also the source of certain microbial vectors causing human illnesses including those caused by cryptosporidium and e coli bacteria.

The new document also highlights the challenge of achieving the objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) in the context of increasing agricultural output under Food Harvest 2020.

Increased farm output will likely increase the pressures on waters, which will have to be managed in a sustainable way within the context of the overall objective of protecting and improving water quality and meeting the requirements of the WFD.

The responses received by way of the consultation process will be used to formulate a strategy, designed to improve water quality during the period 2017 – 2021.

This will entail the development of a second series of River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) for Ireland. This principle is now used throughout the Europe as a strategic tool, allowing individual member states to reach the targets laid down within the EU’s Water Framework Directive.

According to the Department of the Environment achieving the objectives of the Water Framework Directive in the context of increasing agricultural output under Food Harvest 2020 will be a major challenge.

It says that increased agricultural output will likely increase the pressures on waters which will have to be managed in a sustainable way within the context of the overall objective of protecting and improving water quality and meeting the requirements of the WFD.

The Department also says that the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in groundwater, rivers, lakes, estuarine and coastal waters have been mostly stable or decreasing since 2007. This is most likely due to improved farming practices, it says.

“While this is a welcome trend the document also indicates that the rate of improvement has been slow. Teagasc research is indicating that there will be a lag between certain measures being implemented and the impact becoming visible in the quality of the receiving water.”

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