'The new CAP has greater ambitions for climate action and environmental care including water'

The Clohamon Weir
The Clohamon Weir
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The new CAP has greater ambitions for climate action and environmental care including water, according to Gerard Shortle, DG Environment, European Commission.

Speaking at National Agri-Environment conference in Galway recently he said the main pressures on water in the EU are nutrient loading (N&P) and abstraction.

"There is a decreasing tend in nutrient loading - more so for phosphorus than for nitrogen - but the reductions are uneven across the member states. Agriculture is, by far, the biggest user of water and irrigation makes up the biggest part of what the sector uses.

"The challenges we face in tackling the pressures on our waters are: delayed implementation of water-related legislation; lack of funding (or low priority of water in funding decisions); the range of agencies needed for good implementation; farmers’ awareness of the issues and ability to implement the measures needed."

River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs), he said are the main means to implement the water legislation to improve water status and prevent deterioration.

"How the Water Framework Directive objectives are integrated into the new CAP will be very significant for the future relationship between agriculture and water status."

Under the new CAP, each Member States will have to develop its own CAP Strategic Plan, he said, which will include the measures that will deliver the required socioeconomic and environmental outcomes.

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