Sampling campaign in private drinking wells, info campaigns to engage local actors
The Irish Action Lab has been busy working on several aspects of a pesticide monitoring programme specifically designed to inform WaterProtect and national knowledge gaps surrounding pesticides in rural Ireland and private drinking water wells.
A sampling programme of private wells in the two study catchments in County Wexford is on-going. One hundred private well owners (a combination of householders and farmers) were visited and informed of the work being carried out as part of WaterProtect. Permission was sought from each well owner to sample the well as part of the research. Each well is being sampled (Figure 1) for routine water quality indicators as well as a suite of acid herbicides (quantitative) as well as undergoing a screening test (qualitative presence or absence) for approximately 2000 other compounds, including pesticide metabolites and other emerging organic compounds.
A visit by the INSPIRATION ITN (Innovative Training Network) to Teagasc and the Castledockerell catchment (Figure 2) monitored as part of the Teagasc Agricultural Catchments Programme and WaterProtect provided a useful platform for discussion over common research themes which include pesticide mitigation measures and passive sampling.
WaterProtect Ireland has also participated in several dissemination activities. The research was presented at the Sustainable Farm Open day at Kildalton Agricultural College (Figure 3).
An article on WaterProtect and the activities of the Irish Action Lab were also discussed in tResearch (Figure 4), a popular science publication which aims to communicate Teagasc research and improve the public awareness and understanding of agri-food research. For regular updates on the Irish Action Lab and for information about upcoming events and activities visit water-protect.ie.