Donegal County Council
The Water & Environment Section of DCC will be a partner invthis project including its Central Laboratory (chemistry & microbiology laboratories). DCC were a partner in the Interreg IVA ANSWER project (Agricultural Need for Sustainable Willow Effluent Recycling),which examined the potential to use short rotation coppice willow to help clean up organic waste and wastewater, whilst at the same time producing renewable bio-energy. Two pilot sites were established in Donegal as part of the project, including a willow plantation for the bioremediation of effluent from a waste water treatment works and secondly a combination of willow plantation and Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) for the bioremediation of leachate from a closed landfill site. Leachate from landfill is high in ammonia which is similar in nature with mining runoff. Learning from monitoring and analysis of the combination of Willows / ICW pilot site through WaterPro would be transferable to the wider NPA region.
While the Agricultural and mining extractive industries and important sectors for the economy of Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) areas, their activities cause significant risk to vulnerable environment through water and land pollution. Nutrients in agricultural runoff are one of the major contributors to eutrophication and algae blooms. Ammonium nitrate based explosives used in mining operations often result in nitrogen Leachate via runoff. Global climate change will increases the frequency of floods and water runoff volumes in NPA areas increasing yet further the potential for pollution. The expertise in water and storm water runoff (SRM) in the NPA is scattered and unequally distributed and needs to be strengthened in order to ensure continuous economic growth while protecting natural resources. The tight water quality targets set by the Water Framework Directive will require new and more comprehensive tools to prepare regional and local authorities and local communities for current and future challenges. Given the Lack of expertise, interdisciplinary and international collaboration is essential to enable knowledge transfer and stimulate innovation in good management practises. Therefore the overreaching goal of Waterpro is to develop eco- efficient tools and models for SRM practises and environmental protection for the NPA sparsely populated region. This will be done through the development of a Tool- Box of good management practises and communication platform for agriculture and mining extraction runoff management. In addition, several innovative, low cost practises will be implemented in actual pilot sites and their treatment and cost – efficiency evaluated. The ultimate goal of Waterpro is to enhance the preparedness of responsible authorities and local resource users to protect the water quality of the NPA regions coastal and freshwaters, protect public health and ecosystems and stimulate sustainable economic growth and development.
You can download Donegal County Council’s WaterPro brochure from here: donegal county council water services