Smart Farming – being water-wise on farm
Smart Farming, the resource efficiency programme run by IFA in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency has launched updated water guidance, to support farmers work in improving water quality and reducing the risk of penalties.
“Farmers are the custodians of the rural environment and their increasing participation in the voluntary Smart Farming programme demonstrates their willingness and desire to focus on both improving their farm returns while enhancing the rural environment. I believe this updated water guidance will help farmers achieve these two objectives”.Thomas Cooney, Smart Farming Programme Leader
“Clean water is essential to our health and wellbeing and conserving water is essential in the context of our changing climate. We must do more to halt deterioration in water quality so that we protect this most precious public resource. Smart Farming plays an important role in addressing water conservation and water quality in the farming sector. Successful implementation of the measures need wide and willing take up by the farming community.”Mary Frances Rochford, EPA Programme Manager in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability
Catherine Seale-Duggan from the Local Authority Waters Programme welcomed the additional information provided on water protection and conservation. She noted that farming is so important for maintaining and improving water quality and she was delighted to see that farmers were being actively supported to achieve water quality improvements on their farms.
The Smart Farming Water Guidance can be downloaded here.
On water conservation, it encourages farmers to:
- Understand current water use, by studying the water bills.
- Locate & fix leaks to save money.
- Reduce use by recycling water.
Regarding protecting water quality, the guidance document encourages farmers to:
- Think about how the farmyard is “plumbed” to the local stream.
- Take specific actions to reduce risks of water pollution and subsequent penalties.
- Ensure that there is good drinking water quality, by properly constructing wells.