Catchment News

Castleisland Community College represent Ireland

Transition year students of Castleisland Community College won the national Water Explorer competition in Dublin. The award honours the pupils for their outstanding efforts in acting to protect and conserve our fresh water and for excelling in awareness raising and community outreach. Environmentalist Duncan Stewart was one of three judges assessing the students during their presentation. It was followed by questions and answers where the student’s initiative and presentation style was judged.

Throughout the course of the year the students completed 26 challenges relating to water such as making water pumps, a clean-up of the River Maine, testing the water quality of the River Maine, learning about the connection of climate change with water scarcity in the developing world, and presenting workshops to junior classes and the local primary school. The students also learnt practical ways of saving water both at home and in school, which may come in handy if water charges are introduced! They examined the area of secret water and learnt how much water it takes to produce various items – for example, a cup of tea takes 140 litres and a t-shirt takes 2,500 litres when you take account of all the water used in all aspects of production. The programme is cross-curricular and involves all subject areas. It is a balance of project based learning, practical challenges, competition and fun. The students have developed the skills of teamwork, public speaking, Information Technology and report writing.

Their success did not end there as they also represented Ireland in an International Showcase in London, on October 18th 2017. HSBC bank, who fund the competition, invited the students on an all-expenses paid trip to Dublin. The national winners from all the various countries that participated teleconferenced from the HSBC bank in their own country with the bank headquarters in London. The achievements of each individual country were mentioned, highlighting to students the difference they have made. Doreen Killington, Castleisland Community College www.waterexplorer.org

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our waterbodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.

LAWCO

Local Authority Waters and Communities Office

The Waters and Communities Office has been established to carry out public consultation and engagement, and to coordinate the activities of all 31 local authorities in areas connected with the Water Framework Directive.

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4829 waterbodies, looking at trends and changes and determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.

DECLG

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation, and sign off by the Minister.