Keep The Sh1te Out Of Our Water

People love solving problems. We are great for coming up with solutions.

When we were faced with the image of a seahorse holding a cotton bud in the ocean we knew what to do. We mobilised to reduce plastic pollution in whatever way we could. We all made some lifestyle changes such as reusable lunch wrappers and coffee cups. As well as lobbying for bigger changes by calling on producers to cut out plastic and government to act.

However when we get news reports that our beaches are closed and our waters are polluted  because “heavy rain led to elevated levels of bacteria” what can we do? The target isn’t tangible. The reason is vague. The cause could be one of a number of issues individually or a mixture of them all.

The trouble is that we need to know the reason, or array of reasons, so that we can solve the problem. When this happens our beaches are shut, seasonal businesses have to close and holiday makers think twice about this venue for next year. It makes a lot of sense that we all get some clarity on the problem so that we can all take the necessary steps to address it.

Try a news report along the lines of:

“Coastal sewage treatment plant cannot cope with excess rain water input”

“Slurry flows straight into the sea as rain washes through the fields”

“Overflowing septic tanks cause trouble down stream”

While you are here and if this issue bothers you – there is a public consultation on the Significant Water Management Issues (SWMI) for the third cycle River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027. You can read about it here and there’s a simple enough survey where you can answer the questions you want to. You can also send an email with your points.

Even if you just say you want the government to cop on and create policy that will keep the sh1te out of our water you will be making a difference. It closes on Friday August 7th so better hurry.

There are of course many other issues you could include. In order to support public engagement the Sustainable Water Network (SWAN) and the Irish Environmental Network (IEN) delivered an online workshop on the SWMI consultation and key environmental issues. The video and presentation slides are all available online here.

Theresa O’Donohoe

August 4th 2020

The wild Atlantic

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