Compensation sought by IFA for opening up wells
The IFA plans to lodge a multi-million euro bill with local authorities for the disruption caused on holdings where county councils are taking water from farm wells.
A bitter stand-off has developed over the past year between local authorities and farmers because of restrictions on farming practices that apply to lands adjacent to wells used for public water needs.
However, the IFA is now demanding compensation from the local authorities for the disruption caused by these restrictions.
Demands for payments of up to €5,000 a year are expected to be lodged with the county councils in respect of each farm well. This is to compensate land owners for production losses.
The level of the demands will be set to mirror payments made in Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), where similar restrictions on land use have been applied.
In many areas, restrictions on slurry and artificial fertiliser application extend to 40ac around the well and can take in neighbouring farmers' lands.
In the vast majority of cases no payment was made by the county councils when they acquired the use of the wells.
Ironically, some farmers who use the public water supply are now being metered and billed for water which may have come from their own holding.