River Barrow in Athy
Aoife McGrath, the new community water officer for Kildare is looking towards communities to help protect and manage water locally.
She gave a detailed description of her new role to the members of Athy District area at their monthly meeting on Monday.
Her aim is to connect community activists with projects that will enhance the quality of water in Kildare such as the River Barrow catchment area in Athy.
“The local community involvement is important to any future plans,” said Aoife.
“We all need to work together in improving our waterways. Our aim is to get our waters restored to good standards. Our rivers are not in good health.”
The meeting heard that the water quality in the Barrow was deemed poor as it is moderately polluted. However councillor’s were reassured that it was still suitable for water sports and recreational use.
“The message is that the River Barrow is safe,” she added. “But there are external pressures being exerted on it which is causing it harm.”
The idea is to get more people involved as individuals, families and as a community to work together to initiate more community projects and influence government plans and public policies.
The waters and communities office will support local communities through funding advice, technical advice and local support groups. The kind of projects that communities can get involved in include clean ups, river walks, bird watching, planting of trees, river restoration works, silt trapping and invasive species control.
Meanwhile the closing date for the waters and communities tidy towns awards is May 25, 2017. For more information on what is going on and how to get involved check out www.catchments.ie