Water Professionals & Land Managers

Water Professionals & Land Managers

Water companies often have issues with water quality abstracted from rivers and lakes. Land management practices can cause high concentrations of the herbicide methyl-4- chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) in drinking water source catchments, and loss of soil and organic material causes variations in colour and turbidity in the raw water abstracted from rivers and lakes. This creates challenges during water treatment.

Improving raw water quality can lead to less intensive water treatment, use of fewer cleansing chemicals and reduced sludge production. This reduces water treatment costs and energy usage and contributes to improved biodiversity and climate change mitigation.

Source to Tap piloted a range of sustainable, cost-effective measures to reduce pollution and improve cross border raw water quality in the River Erne and River Derg catchment areas that provide water that serves parts of counties Fermanagh Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim, and Longford.

Source to Tap trialled various land management measures in forestry, peatland and agriculture. These pilot projects explored actions to deliver cost-effective strategies for improving the health of our freshwater environments. A comprehensive monitoring programme was devised for the agricultural pilot and the scientific skills of AFBI and Ulster University, together with work by AFBI economists, now provide an evidence base for action. Both the forestry and peatland pilots were also monitored and more details on each of these monitoring programmes can be found in the technical reports.

Source to Tap has proved that through applying a range of innovative and low-cost measures, combined with public engagement, accurate results can be achieved.

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For every £1 invested through the Source to Tap project, there will be £3.36 worth of benefits* through reduced water treatment costs and improved catchment ecosystem services.

(*Estimates of the benefits and costs of the pilot Land Incentive Scheme projected over a 30-year period, gives a Benefit Cost Ratio of 3.36.)

Click on each of the Source to Tap key themes below to access
informative instructional videos, guidance documents and downloadable resources, as well reports of actions and outcomes from our trials.

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