Plans to reduce agricultural pollution not enough - An Taisce
Ireland is failing to improve the quality of its waterways and measures to reduce agricultural pollution are not working, An Taisce has said.
It says recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) figures show that Ireland failed to meet the overall 13pc improvement proposed between 2010 and 2015, indicating little change in water bodies in an unhealthy state, and is calling for a review of agricultural targets under Food Wise 2025.
The impact of agriculture is being amplified by the deliberate adoption of an output expansion policy Food Wise 2025, seeking to increase the value of food exports by 85pc by that date, without properly mitigating the climate, biodiversity and river basin catchment impact, it says.
It also says an increase in fish kills between 2013 and 2015 means not enough is being done to protect Irish rivers, lakes and has proposed a range of measures to reduce pollution.
Further, it says the Draft River Basin Management Plan is lacking in ambition and capacity to meet the measures required for the water improvement targets of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
The plan, it says, does not provide any effective measures to reduce the impact of agriculture, and the 6pc annual increase in the dairy herd since the lifting of milk quotas.
It says that thousands of farms are failing to comply with the Nitrates Directive, which limits the pollution impact on surface and ground water.
Ian Lumley An Taisce Advocacy Officer said the plan evades effective action in all area affecting water management in meeting of WFD 'Good Water Status' targets, in favour of continuing avoidance of effective regulation of forestry, peat extraction, water abstraction, aquaculture and other activity.