The objective of WATERPROTECT is to create an integrated multi-actor participatory framework including innovative instruments that enable monitoring, financing and implementation of effective management practices and measures for the protection of water sources. The Irish Actionlab (one of seven labs across the EU ) is led by Teagasc in collaboration with the Irish Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) , Wexford County Council, Glanbia and Ulster University is aimed at assessing the efficacy, uptake and implementation of mitigation measures, to protect water resources in a rural agricultural environment.
Water Protect Project has developed and launched a new tool. It is an interactive map, with intelligently integrated data of pesticides and nitrates in the water systems of 4 countries: Italy, Romania, Belgium and Ireland. The map also shows the study area, rivers, sub catchments, land use and drainage class. The data has been collated since 2018 in surface water and groundwater.
It is worth taking a look! https://waterprotecteu.marvin.vito.be/water-quality-locations/ It's recommended chrome browser.
Following application, and beyond their action on weed plants, herbicides are designed to degrade in soils. However, before this can fully occur, herbicides and metabolites associated with partial degradation can be lost from soil surfaces during rainfall. This can be in water that moves across the land surface (as runoff) to rivers, or into groundwater (by leaching). Herbicide degradation, runoff and leaching is influenced by the physical and chemical characteristics of soil, subsoil, bedrock, land use, management practices, timing of pesticide application and prevailing environmental conditions. This means that monitoring for herbicides only a few times per year in rivers or groundwater (as is normally done in Ireland) may not provide useful enough data to assess environmental or human health risks.The WaterProtect research developed a new monitoring approach that addressed all of these factors by monitoring multiple herbicides in rivers using passive samplers that captured all flow conditions over a one-year period, and in 95 groundwater wells.
COVID-19 pandemic has caused a profound disruption to our social and professional life over the past few months. Working from home and restricted movement due to lockdown measures in place changed the way we normally operate and carry out our jobs. Despite these challenges, WaterProtect in Ireland did not ignore its Waters and managed to continue its monitoring programme in two hydro-geologically distinct river catchments even during these unprecedented times. We are using passive samplers to assess the levels of herbicides in surface water. These samplers were first installed in streams at outlets of the two catchments at the start of November 2018 and the monitoring is on-going to date. Through this continued monitoring, we have generated a highly valuable dataset on seasonal and temporal variability of herbicides in water and how herbicide inputs in water are controlled by physical and hydrological conditions within the two catchments. This scientific information is vital to understand mechanics of herbicide transfer to water and to develop collaborative mitigation strategies.
Fabiola Costa and Majid Khan just joined the project. Fabiola is Italo-Brazilian, received the BSc in Agricultural Engineer from UNICAMP – State University of Campinas, and MSc in Business Administration from FAPPES in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has research and work experience in soil, fertilizer and their interactions. Majid has a PhD in Environmental Science from University of York UK and BSc(Hon) and MSc(Hon) in Soil Science from the University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan. Majid has a research experience in laboratory and field studies of agrochemicals.
Shervin Shahvi started with the Irish Action Lab this week and he will identify the regulatory bottlenecks for protection of drinking water in Ireland and find out more about the role and interaction between different actors. He was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and earned his BSc in Water Engineering in University if Tehran, MSc in Chalmers university of Technology in Geo and Water Engineering Sweeden and Phd in Hydraulic Engineering in Politecnico di Milano Italy. He has research experience in Water and Wastewater Engineering field, Environmental Engineering and Urban Water.
The Wexford workshop on “Science, water governance and policy implementations: Up-scaling to European level” saw stakeholders present Irelands approach in reaching water quality targets with the emphasis on drinking water protection from pesticides and nutrients. There was also examples presented by project partners from Denmark and Belgium. This event was hosted by Teagasc and Wexford County Council.