Improvements In Water Quality Need To Be Acknowledged. – ICMSA.
Commenting on the release of the EPA 2020 Water Quality Report, the President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said, that while challenges remain in relation to water quality, it is important that the improvements in water quality are acknowledged and recognition given to the various initiatives being taken at individual farm level and industry level to further improve water quality.
Mr. McCormack said, that to listen to some commentators, one could easily get the impression that farmers are not making efforts to improve water quality and nothing could be further from the truth. Over the last number of years, there has been a growing focus on water quality and other environmental issues at individual farm level and at industry level, initiatives such as ASSAP, GLAS, TAMS are all contributing towards improved water quality and other environmental indicators. There are challenges which farmers will tackle, said Mr. McCormack but there are also positives including 89% of rivers have satisfactory BOD values, 71% of rivers have satisfactory P levels, 53% of rivers have satisfactory N levels and if compared to our EU counterparts, Ireland is in a good position.
ICMSA is concerned that the efforts of the agriculture sector are not being acknowledged and recognised and calls for more and more regulation is not the answer. Programmes such as ASSAP are delivering results without regulation and the concentration now should be on working with farmers on practical measures to further improve water quality through a new Agri-environment scheme and avoid excessive regulation that are unpractical and will not deliver the desired results.
Concluding, Mr. McCormack said, that challenges remain but progress is being made, this needs to be acknowledged and working with the agricultural sector is a way forward rather than a hammer approach of regulation.
Ends 14th July 2021
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