Cabragh Wetlands Development Trust have launched a LEADER-funded water awareness programme for communities in North Tipperary. Throughout this programme, which is supported by NTDC, 14 communities across North Tipperary will be offered a free workshop within their own areas at which they will learn about our rivers and the life they support, find out more about their own nearby waterbody, learn to work with others to spread the word on protecting our waters and hopefully become part of a new movement dedicated to this work.

Clean water is not a luxury. We are blessed to have it and we need to protect it. Fresh water makes up 3% of the world’s water. 1% is available for use as the other 2% are locked up in ice-caps. The waterbodies within the various catchments of Tipperary support a wide range of livelihoods and ecosystem services. The statistics in the most recent EPA water quality report highlight that Ireland has gone from having 500 pristine rivers 30 years ago to having just 20 today. This highlights the urgency for awareness raising and follow-on actions to halt this decline and to implement measures to significantly improve the water bodies in line with the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.

While many bodies such as the EPA, Local Authorities, Regional Fisheries Boards, Irish Water and the Local Authority Waters Programme work hard to improve the quality of our water, this is a task which all can assist. Communities and their organisations have an important role to play.

As part of its role in supporting communities in protecting their own water resources, Cabragh Wetlands wishes to establish a Network of Water Guardians throughout Tipperary. This network will provide a means of raising awareness of the value of the water resource within each community and of the actions which can be taken by every individual to protect and enhance the quality of the water and the water habitats in their areas. This series of free workshops will be delivered at 14 locations throughout North Tipperary by well-known local environmentalists, Sean O’Farrell and Tom Bán. The half-day workshops will give participants a better understanding of the watercourse and water habitats in their area and what can be done to protect them.

The first of these Water Habitat Workshops will take place in Lorrha, Co. Tipperary, on Saturday April 23rd 2022 from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. This is a free, public event—all are welcome! For more information, contact Sean on (087) 9227957 or Tom on (087) 9781465.