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Protecting Waters from Agricultural Pollution

Water Framework Directive & Nutrient Management Plan
Under the Water Framework Directive, farmers are required to implement a Nutrient Management Plan to ensure optimum and safe use of all fertilising materials and chemicals.

Under the Nitrates Directive, farmers are requested to farm in accordance with the Code of Good Agricultural Practice to protect waters from pollution by nitrates.

The loss of agricultural nutrients in the form of animal and crop wastes and mineral fertilisers is a significant pollution risk associated with intensive farm enterprises.

Such nutrients are lost in the following manner:

  • 'Point source' discharges from farmyards and accidental spillages into surface waters.
  • 'Diffuse discharges' through leaching or run-off from land used for agriculture and forestry, and which are mainly due to inappropriate or excessive application of mineral fertilisers, slurries or sludges.

The impending implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EEC) and the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) require farmers to ensure that their farming activities do not pose a pollution threat to water resources.

Paul has worked extensively in the areas of water protection both in Ireland and internationally, including work with both the EU Commission and Project Management Group.

Case Study 1: Water pollution
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