Managing our water is essential to support life and protect our ecosystems. A new EPA funded research project was launced at IRD Duhallow which aims to develop and transfer knowledge regarding how we as a community can manage our own water resources for everyones benefit.

The project official title is ‘Delivering Integrated Water Management Through the Bottom-up Approach: A Critical Analysis’ and is a joint venture between IRD Duhallow, Cork Co Council and Mary Immaculate College and funded through the EPA Research Programme. The launch took place at IRD Duhallow on 28th of January 2015.

The importance of the bottom up approach to water management is recognised internationally, and so the River Allow Integrated Catchment Management Group Meeting was chosen as the vehicle to launch the project. The River Allow experience is a unique real time practical example of how the local community can be motivated to take more ownership in water management. The launch event was attended by a wide range of stakeholders from a variety of organisations including public sector, private sector, voluntary sector, academia, landowners, universities and residents. It represents the perfect opportunity to gather in ideas, views and information from all the interested parties.

The project will examine various bottom up approaches to water management not only in Ireland but also around the globe, with a view to identifying and/or developing a system that might work best for the Irish settings. The River Allow Catchment Process provides an exciting opportunity to follow a realtime bottom up community led water management process and we would like to welcome Dr Travis O'Doherty who will be carrying out the research.  The aim will be for the model to be rolled out to other catchments once developed. As mentioned above good practices in other countries will be identified to ascertain if they are applicable in an Irish context and a cost-benefit analysis will be conducted to determine the financial implications of the mitigation measures necessary to improve water quality status. To guide the project a steering group consisting of members from IRD Duhallow, Mary Immaculate College, the Environmental Protection Agency and Cork County Council has been formed. We invite those interested in water quality to participate in the River Allow Catchment Management Group.

Present at the launch were the following; landowners and local farmers, Irish Farmers with Designated Lands, Irish Creameries and Milk Suppliers Association, Irish Farmers Association, Teagasc,  FDC Group (private agricultural advisors), Inland Fisheries Ireland, Cork Co Council, IRD Duhallow, Environmental Protection Agency, Coillte, SWAN, Coomhola Salmon Trust, Mary Immaculate College (UL), volunteers, Cork Environmental Forum, Streamscape, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Regional Authority, Duhallow Bird Watch Group, Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence/Kanturk Trout Angling Club, LIFE project personnel. We would like to thank the EPA for their continued support and all of the stakeholders and personnel, some of whom travel long distances to attend and contribute to our meetings. It is much appreciated and we believe it is only by working together that we can really solve the many complex issues affecting our rivers today and maintain livehoods in rural communities such as Duhallow.....

The above research programme is administered on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government by the EPA which has the statutory function of co-ordinating and promoting Irish environmental research.

The IRD Duhallow LIFE project is part funded through the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union


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