Author Archives: Eimear Kearney

Ravinnerenki Project

Ravinnerenki Project

Ravinnerenki will focus on to enhance efficient use of manure on dairy farms and thus diminish the nutrient runoff from farming. Different practices (manure separation, biogas production, manure spreading etc.) are tested in the Eastern Finland and practical information on the best practices will be disseminated to the farms by advisory visits, demonstrative events, guidance material and farmhouse meetings. Also financial and environmental effects of different practices will be estimated on the farm level.

For project updates, please visit: https://ravinnerenki.savonia.fi/in-english

Kuopio Water Cluster

Kuopio Water Cluster

kuopio water cluster logo

Savonia, the leading partner of the WaterPro project (01.06.2016 — 31.08.2019) is now a member of the Kuopio Water Cluster.

 

Savonia is a leader of the Kuopio Water Cluster (KWC) – a unique cooperation platform providing product development, testing and commercialisation services. Water Cluster aligns network of local universities and multi-disciplinary national research institutes in Pohjois-Savo region focused on the water sector. KWC will become a collaborative network for start-ups, SMEs and large companies to stimulate growth and innovation. For more details visit: https://kuopiowatercluster.com/

Waterpro Partners Visit Iceland For Collaborative European Water Quality Improvement Project

Waterpro Partners Visit Iceland For Collaborative European Water Quality Improvement Project

Nine partners from Northern Europe, including the lead partner Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Finland) as well as partners from Sweden, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland recently attended an international conference looking at Oligotrophic and ultra-oligotrophic waterbodies and their sensitivity to pollution.

WaterPro Seminar in IcelandThe conference, which was hosted by Agricultural University of Iceland, is part of an innovative EU funded project called WaterPro which aims to develop sustainable systems to protect water quality from agricultural and mining pollution.

The project partners attended a seminar to hear a range of presentations from loss of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural soils in Iceland to recent water quality deterioration in Finnish lakes, finding the root cause in a changing climate as well as good practice guidelines for agriculture and their implementation.  The seminar also looked at measurements of runoff and nutrient losses and integrated bio-solutions for treatment of Landfill Leachate.

Conor Jordan Chairperson from the Lough Neagh Partnership, one of the project partners commented “WaterPro is a fantastic opportunity for partner organisations to collaborate and share knowledge on a range of practical water quality improvement projects.  The application of proven methods to improve water quality can have a real positive impact on our waterways”

Waterpro dairy farm visit in IcelandFollowing the seminar, the project partners were taken to the region of Borgarfjörður in West Iceland, where they visited two dairy farms, one sheep farm and a horticultural station growing cucumbers.  There they saw practical examples of how new technology can be used in the housing of animals and the management of slurry and potential run off.  Cucumber farm Iceland Icelandic farmers provided advice on how slurry was stored through the winter and the particular difficulties in operating in such a cold environment and informed the visiting party on Icelandic regulations on storing and managing the animal waste product.  It was particularly fascinating see the use of geothermal technology particularly in heating winter cattle sheds and in heating greenhouses for the horticulture industry.

The next WaterPro seminar will take place in the Faro Islands in May 2018.

WaterPro Partners Visit Ireland

WaterPro Partners Visit Ireland

EU PARTNERS VISIT IRELAND FOR COLLABORATIVE EUROPEAN WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT – WATERPRO

Nine partners from Northern Europe, including the lead partner Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Finland) as well as partners from Sweden, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland recently attended an international conference in Letterkenny looking at bioremediation methods to manage runoff from agriculture, mining and landfills.

WaterPro Partners

WaterPro Project Partners

The conference, which was hosted by Donegal County Council, is part of an innovative EU funded project called WaterPro which aims to develop sustainable systems to protect water quality from agricultural and mining pollution.

GER_8277-2One of the highlights of the conference was a site visit to Churchtown Landfill site in Lifford, which has been capped and covered.  This uses a combination of an irrigated willow plantation and integrated constructed wetlands to treat leachate before it enters the River Finn.  The River Finn is one of Europe’s best salmon and sea trout rivers and Donegal County Council is committed to protecting this wonderful resource by ensuring that all leachate is treated effectively.

GER_8250-2The Council has introduced a plant based leachate treatment system at Churchtown and as part of the WaterPro project, the Council will, in close consultation with the Environment Protection Agency, will provide data and methodological information with a view to ensuring that similar systems can be replicated elsewhere.

The visiting delegates also attended their own project management meeting on Tuesday in Inishowen and was followed by a visit to Ireland’s most northerly point at Malin Head.

WaterPro visit to Lough NeaghThe delegates were then transported to Lough Neagh, where they visited two potential pilot sites at Washing Bay and Oxford Island.  The focus was on the eco services benefits from the management of water quality on these sites.  This was followed by a presentation from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency Water Management Unit, highlighting the main aspects of water quality improvement associated with the Neagh Bann Catchment Management Plan.

IMG_4106IMG_4113

Ville Matikka from Savonia University of Applied Sciences stated “it is fundamental to meet with other partners throughout Europe who have been involved in practical water quality improvement projects.  WaterPro is an excellent opportunity to learn best practice and transfer knowledge to and from other areas.”

WaterPro is funded through the Northern Peripheries Transnational Interreg Programme

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Bioremediation to manage runoff from Agriculture, Mining & Landfills

Bioremediation to manage runoff from Agriculture, Mining & Landfills

You are invited to an international seminar on

‘Bioremediation to manage runoff from Agriculture, Mining & Landfills Seminar’ 

Wednesday 10th May 2017
Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny
From 9am – 1pm

Donegal County Council are partners in the Interreg VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme WaterPro Project which will develop eco-efficient tools and models for water and storm runoff management practices and environmental protection.

As part of the exchange of knowledge on the project Donegal County Council are hosting a free to attend seminar: Bioremediation to manage runoff from Agriculture, Mining & Landfills.

Presentations will focus on sustainable methods of treating runoff and polluted waste waters.

There will also be a site visit to Churchtown Landfill site, Lifford which has been restored and uses a combination of an irrigated willow plantation and integrated constructed wetlands to treat leachate before it enters the River Finn. Please note PPE is required for the site visit.

This event is free of charge and those with an interest in the environment, agriculture or mining are most welcome.

Click on this link to view the agenda and register today for the seminar.

(For those travelling the Clanree Hotel will offer a special price of €72 B&B single occupancy, reference WaterPro at time of booking)

PROGRESSIVE COLLABORATIVE EUROPEAN WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

PROGRESSIVE COLLABORATIVE EUROPEAN WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Lough Neagh Partnership Seek Water Quality Solutions in Sweden

Over nine partners from around the whole of Northern Europe, including lead partner Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Finland), and of course the local Lough Neagh Partnership met in Sweden at the end of November 2016 to discuss ideas and make suggestions on how to address nitrate run off problems from agricultural and mining water sources.

At the meeting, which is part of the Northern Peripheries Transnational Interreg Programme, each of the partners gave a presentation on the main agricultural and mining sites associated with their own area, highlighting particular run off problems whilst proposing research based solutions.  Gerry Darby from the Lough Neagh Partnership stressed the problems created by nitrate and phosphate run off into the Lough Neagh catchment are mainly from agricultural sources. He noted that “Whilst farmers and government departments are working together to slowly address this problem, it is important to consider other methods being used in other parts of Europe to see if these can be transferred to parts the Lough Neagh Catchment.” The meeting kicked off at Lulea University of Technology before travelling north to the Arctic Circle at Kiruna Iron Ore Mine, Sweden, one of the largest mines in Europe supplying 60% of all iron to the European market.



Waterpro partners



The mine has a history of nitrate run off issues hence practical mitigating suggestions were provided by the Swedish partners on how to address this pollution concern.  A previous meeting of all the partners was held in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Hillsborough in June 2016, where the benefits of planting a Short Rotational Willow Coppice System were explained and the key mitigation measures of the system were identified, including environmental protection for streams, rivers, lakes, environmental compliance, and biomass energy  production. It is intended that the transfer of this practical knowledge from the different sites and partners can be brought back to Lough Neagh and utilised to address nitrate and phosphate run off in some of the smaller catchments around the Lough so as to compile practical proposals to start addressing and reversing this water quality problem.

Nutrients in agricultural runoff are one of the major contributors to eutrophication and algal blooms, which leads to a loss of biodiversity in our local lakes and rivers; whilst Ammonium nitrate based explosives used in mining operations often result in nitrogen leaching via runoff. It is inevitable that global climate change will increase the frequency of floods and water volumes in Northern, Periphery and Arctic (NPA) areas increasing further the potential for pollution. Hence the Waterpro project, championed by the Northern Peripheries Transnational Interreg Programme, aims to provide more eco efficient runoff management tools and models in the Northern Periphery Area in anticipation of the effects of climate change and facilitate faster transfer of knowledge and develop wider cooperation within the Northern Periphery Area improving runoff management systems and techniques.  

For more information:

Twitter @waterproeu

Facebook @waterproproject

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Welcome Message from Lead Partner of WaterPro

Welcome Message from Lead Partner of WaterPro

Welcome to Water pro

I am happy and proud to present to you the first WaterPro project newsletter, which allows us to share project related information across partner organisations. The project started 1st June 2016, and I believe that each partner is fully committed to the project goals and objectives by now.  The project has started in such a way that each partner finds out the national laws, regulations and good water management practices relating to the nutrient loadings of agriculture and extractive industries. Partners have started to design the pilot sites for testing and developing the practices for runoff management. Project communication such as logo, brochure and website are also the first efforts of the project. I’m sure that in upcoming newsletters, we’ll have a number of interesting results to report as well. I Hope you’ll enjoy this first issue.

Ville Matikka, Project Manager

Project Partners

WaterPro is made up of a variety of partners spread through the Northern Periphery area, each bringing their own experience and expertise in researching and managing agricultural and mining run off.

The project is being overseen and managed by the lead partner Savonia University of Applied Science, Finland, who have extensive experience in developing and managing similar European programmes.  The lead manager from Savonia is Ville Matikka.  Other main work packages associated with the project include communication activities, best practice pooling and pilot and innovative site actions.

The main WaterPro partners include:

  • Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Geological Survey of Finland
  • Agricultural University of Iceland
  • Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
  • Lough Neagh Partnership, Northern Ireland UK
  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Northern Ireland UK
  • Heriot Watt University, Scotland UK
  • Donegal County Council, Republic of Ireland
  • Búnaðarstovan, The Faroe Islands
The first formal meeting of the WaterPro project kicked off in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Hillsborough, Northern Ireland on the 8th June 2016.  As expected, the first meeting focused on the agreement of the main roles and responsibilities of each the partners and putting together an agreed work plan for the three-year duration of the project.
Each of the partners gave a presentation on the main agricultural and mining sites associated with their own area and highlighted the particular run off problems and research based solutions.

 

WaterPro site visit at AFBI

 

Chris Johnston from AFBI gave a tour of the facilities of the Hillsborough Research Farm and in particular demonstrated the research associated with growing willow. The benefits of a Short Rotational Willow Coppice System were explained and the key mitigation measures of the system were identified, including environmental protection for streams, rivers, lakes, environmental compliance, and biomass energy production.

 

Second Project Meeting

The WaterPro WaterPro meeting will take place in Luleå /Kiruna Sweden in the end of Nov 2016 and will be hosted by Luleå University of Technology.  This time, the focus of the project will turn to the mining industry and the impacts of mining run off on water quality.  The Luleå team will hold a full seminar for partners and an invited audience of Swedish stakeholders, together with a presentation of their specific mining run off research projects.  Site visits to the local mining industry will also be included.

 

Kiruna Sweden
Welcome to WaterPro

Welcome to WaterPro

What is WaterPro?

Water Pro is part of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme which attempts to help peripheral and remote communities on the northern margins of Europe to develop their economic, social and environmental potential.  WaterPro is a new transnational cooperation project which will attempt to find new ways to address shared environmental challenges of pollution and nutrient runoff from agricultural and mining practice and explore new ways to address these problems.

WaterPro Lough Neagh

Through collaboration, the WaterPro Project wishes to improve environmental protection and reduce the impact of runoff from agriculture and mining extraction. This will be done through the development of a tool-box of good management practices, and a communication platform together with implementation of several innovative low cost practices at a variety of pilot sites.

The ultimate goal of WaterPro is to help protect the water quality of the NPA region’s coastal and freshwaters, protect human health and ecosystems and stimulate sustainable economic growth and development in the Northern Periphery Area.

Launch of New Research Partnership on Water Quality at AFBI

Launch of New Research Partnership on Water Quality at AFBI

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute recently hosted the Launch Event for a major new Interreg VB research project which aims to develop sustainable systems to protect water quality from diffuse agricultural and mining pollution. AFBI is a major partner in this EU funded Interreg VB – Northern Periphery & Arctic project which has an overall value of approximately €2m. The project is led by the Savonia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and other partners include: the Finnish Geological Survey; the Agricultural University of Iceland; Luleå University of Technology Sweden; the Lough Neagh Partnership; Heriot Watt University in Scotland; Donegal County Council; and the Agricultural Agency of the Faroe Islands.

WaterPro PartnersThe Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute recently hosted the Launch Event for a major new Interreg VB research project which aims to develop sustainable systems to protect water quality from diffuse agricultural and mining pollution. AFBI is a major partner in this EU funded Interreg VB – Northern Periphery & Arctic project which has an overall value of approximately €2m. The project is led by the Savonia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and other partners include: the Finnish Geological Survey; the Agricultural University of Iceland; Luleå University of Technology Sweden; the Lough Neagh Partnership; Heriot Watt University in Scotland; Donegal County Council; and the Agricultural Agency of the Faroe Islands.

WaterPro site visit at AFBIAFBI’s contribution to the project will focus on the use of Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow to reduce nutrient export from agriculture.  SRC willow is a fast growing hardwood that takes up large volumes of water and can also utilise the nutrients found in runoff from agricultural sources.  If these nutrients enter lakes and rivers they can result in deterioration in water quality. In addition, SRC willow also provides farmers with an economically viable crop and sustainable source of biomass for energy production on-farm and elsewhere. This project aims to build on previous work carried out by AFBI on SRC willow (see www.afbini.gov.uk) by demonstrating the contribution that SRC willow can make to the sustainable intensification of agriculture in Northern Ireland by reducing nutrient export and lowering the carbon footprint while maintaining farm profitability.

AFBI Farm visit, WaterProFuture growth in the local agri-food sector as projected under the Going for Growth strategy increases the requirement for sustainable recycling and management of wastes. In addition, the EU Water Framework Directive sets stringent targets for water quality across the region. The use of SRC willow provides a solution that can help achieve these dual objectives.

For further details contact Chris Johnston (chris.johnston@afbini.gov.uk)

 

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