Encouraging rainwater harvesting could be the key to easing pressure on water schemes around the Premier county.
That’s the view of Cllr Ger Darcy who raised the issue at a recent municipal district meeting.
Currently, all of the water used on farms for cleaning out sheds has to come from group schemes which is treated to make it fit for human consumption.
However, Cllr Darcy said that this water really doesn’t need to be treated and that rainwater would suffice – and ease pressure on water treatment plants:
“One of the things I suppose we could do to alleviate that pressure would be to encourage more people to harvest rainwater – both domestically, on farms and maybe in industry as well.
“Like for example, there’s no need to have expensive treated water flushing toilets in houses, or on farms maybe washing out the floors of milking parlours or collecting yards or whatever the case may be. Rainwater will do that fine.”
Cllr Darcy also said that if farmers were encouraged to install large rainwater collecting tanks, it would have positive effects on local water schemes.
“We’re asking our officials to write to the department to see if they could bring in some incentives to encourage people to do that.
“Now I know in the case of farming, it’s caught on a lot lately and more recently I see some farmers with very large plastic storage tanks which are to be welcomed. So if we could incentivise people to have larger storage facilities and therefore you’d store more water and save more water being treated and pumped by group schemes and by private individuals, and even Irish Water as well.”