River Basin Management Plan

Submission to the River Basin Management Plan

Here are my thoughts relevant to my own experience with sustainable development and environmental issues in the past few years as well as life in the Spa Town of Lisdoonvarna. I ask that you please match them to your existing policy if they exist within it or consider them as additional and make provision for them in the new plan.

This is taken from the EPA report on water quality launched just as this consultation is closing. http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/water/waterqua/waterqualityinireland2010-2015.html

Summary: The quality of our surface waters has remained relatively static since 2007–2009 and improvements, planned for under the first river basin management cycle, have not been achieved.

So it is obviously time to do more if there have been no improvements to date. Or is it time to implement the actions already aspired to? As a new comer to water policy I don’t know.

Anyone with a discharge license should be made discharge upstream and take steps to ensure the water is in good condition by the time it reaches them. They should also be paying a high price for the privilege of polluting the water. The polluter must pay. At the end of the day they shouldn’t be doing it at all. The RBMP aim should be to eradicate discharge of any sort and a license is just a permit to pollute.

As for raw sewage. Why is anybody allowed to dump raw sewage into water? Seriously, why? The rest of us have to treat it why don’t they? That is just not good enough. I have tried to engage with Irish Water to ask for an update on a failing treatment plant in Liscannor but other than a polite acknowledgment and disclaimer they are not contactable. They should be contactable especially when it comes to raw sewage.

The same goes for cattle sewage. There is a cattle farmer close by who has put up a barrier to stop his cattle going under the bridge at the end of my garden. Why are they in the water at all? They are walking, urinating and defecating in the water that flows through the knotweed infested channel at the end of my garden. Which reminds me – there is little point in Doolin Tidy Towns treating knotweed when it’s not being treated upstream. The RBMP needs a more holistic plan to tackle invasive species eroding river banks and aiding the pollution of waterways.

Then there is the chemical concoction of agricultural run off. Why are these toxic products allowed? Herbicides, pesticides, toxic sprays. There should be a tax on them at production based on their toxicity – the polluter should pay. That should be the manufacturer if they chose not to pass the tax on to the consumer. They should be “encouraged” to find a less toxic alternative.

I live close to forestry. Why is it not a broad leaf mixed native species plantation? This would be much better for the soil, water way below it and the atmosphere. It would help stem the flow of rain water as it is on top of the hill.

Climate change is well and truly underway. Recent flooding in Donegal demonstrated what we can expect to see over the coming decades. Eco Eye Series 15, episode 7 is a must watch for all of our policy makers and I ask that you watch it. It will be available on Earth Horizons website free of charge in time.

As for one small step that will make a massive change – Stop draining the bogs! This is a massive economic and ecological mistake. If Bord na Mona or anyone wishes to drain a bog they should be taxed the amount that the subsequent flooding will cost. During the Shannon flooding in recent years the IFA called on BnM to stop draining the bog as it was making matters worse. Imagine if that bog had been allowed function as the natural sponge it is? It’s time for change – make it please.

This is the submission from Lisdoonvarna Tidy Towns. rbmp-submission-tt-2017

Theresa O’Donohoe

August 31st 2017

Here is the Spa Wells where the 2 rivers meet. The picture on the right is taken after heavy rainfall.

 


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