Farms' water use to be monitored
Farms that use large volumes of water face being asked to sign up to an abstraction register under new proposals.
It is understood that businesses and farms will be asked to sign up to the register if they use more than 25 cubic metres (25,000 litres) of water per day.
The proposal is understood to be due to increasing pressure from the European Commission to create such a register for large abstractors.
The measure will only affect the largest farmers in the country, who use significant amounts of water every day.
According to the Agriculture and Food Development authority Teagasc, lactating dairy cows producing 36kg of milk per day can consume between 80 to 100 litres of water.
Using these figures the register will affect farmers with more than 250 cows. Major pig farmers are also likely to be asked to sign up.
Responding to questioning from 'FarmIreland.ie', a spokesperson for the Department of Housing said Ireland is required under the EU Water Framework Directive to develop and maintain a register of significant water abstractions.
It said this requirement is needed to facilitate the long-term sustainable management of our water resources and added that the development of this register would aim to minimise any unnecessary administrative burden on water users.